Dishonesty Offences – Unauthorised Dealing with Shop Goods (UTAG)

Our experienced criminal lawyers have prepared a brief overview of the law relating to unauthorised dealing with shop goods.  If you or someone you care about is facing a charge of stealing as a servant, you need specific advice and should contact Gatenby Criminal Lawyers on 55800120 for advice.

For more information on other criminal charges, visit DISHONESTY OFFENCES.

Unauthorised Dealing with Shop Goods – The Law

Section 5 of the Regulatory Offences Act 1985 creates the offence of unauthorised dealing with shop goods.  The section provides:

(1) Any person who, with respect to goods in a shop of a value of $150 or less—

(a) consumes them without the consent, express or implied, of the person in lawful possession of them; or

(b) deliberately alters, removes, defaces or otherwise renders indistinguishable a price shown on them, without the consent, express or implied, of the person in lawful possession of them; or

(c) whether or not the property in the goods has passed to the person, takes them away without discharging, or attempting honestly, or making proper arrangements, to discharge his or her lawful indebtedness therefor;

is guilty of a regulatory offence.

Elements of the offence

To be found guilty of the offence of unauthorised dealing with shop goods, the prosecution is required to prove, beyond a reasonable doubt, the following elements:

  1. The accused consumed or took goods in a shop, or altered, removed, taken or otherwise rendered the price tag indistinguishable;
  2. The accused did not have consent of the lawful possessor;
  3. The goods had a value of $150 or less.

Maximum penalty

A person convicted with the offence of unauthorised dealing with shop goods is liable to 6 penalty units.

Jurisdiction – Where will the matter be heard?

The offence of stealing is an indictable offence.

The charge will initially be commenced in the Magistrates Court, and can usually be finalised in the Magistrates Court.  For some offences, where there is a circumstance of aggravation the matter must proceed on indictment to the District Court of Queensland.

Conviction – Does a conviction have to be recorded?

The sentencing Court has a discretion whether or not to record a conviction against you for the offence of stealing.  Generally a conviction would be recorded for this type of offence, although one is not inevitable.

The relevant factors are set out in section 12 of the Penalties and Sentences Act 1992, and include, the nature of the offence, the offenders character and age, together with the impact the recording a conviction would have on the offenders chances of finding employment. If you are concerned about a conviction being recorded on you or a loved you should seek legal advice.


This website contains general information about legal matters.  The information is not advice, and should not be treated as such.  You must not rely on the information on this website as an alternative to legal advice from your lawyer or other professional legal services provider.  You should never delay seeking legal advice, disregard legal advice, or commence or discontinue any legal action because of information on this website.

For specific legal advice you should immediately contact Gatenby Criminal Lawyers on (07) 5580 0120.

Liability limited by a scheme approved under professional standards legislation.