Dealing With Identification Information (NSW)
In New South Wales, dealing with identification information with the intention of committing or facilitating an indictable offence is a serious offence that carries a maximum penalty of imprisonment for 10 years. The offence of is set out in section 192J Crimes Act 1900, which states: “A person who deals in identification information with the intention of committing, or facilitating the commission of, an indictable offence is guilty of an offence.”
What is dealing with identification information?
Identification information is defined in section 192I of the Act and means information relating to a person that is capable of being used to identify or purportedly identify that person. The person identified may be an individual, dead or alive, real or fictitious, as well as a company or body corporate. A person can be charged with an offence if they produce information or documents relating to a company with the intention of then committing an indictable offence.
One example of this would be creating documentation that contains information purporting to have authority to act for a certain company.
What is identification information?
- Name and address;
- Date or place of birth; marital status; relative’s identity;
- Driver’s licence or licence number;
- Passport or passport number;
- Biometric data (for example, fingerprints or eye scan data);
- Credit/debit card or number;
- Digital signature; or
What is ‘dealing with’?
‘Dealing with’ includes making, supplying and using. It is clear that the legislation intended the word ‘deal’ in this charge to have the ordinary English definition of the word. It is likely that any interaction that you have with a particular piece of information means that you can be said to “deal” with it. For that reason, an offence under this section is considered more serious than an offence of possessing identification information.
To be found guilty of this offence, a person must intend to commit or facilitate the commission of an indictable offence. A person can be charged with an offence under this section even if committing the indictable offence is impossible.
It is also relevant that the ‘indictable offence’ intended to be committed does not have committed by the accused. A person is still guilty under this section if their actions are used to facilitate an indictable offence by another person.
What must be proven?
To find a person guilty of “dealing with identification information” the police must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that they:
- Dealt with identification material;
- Did so with the intent to commit or facilitate the commission of any indictable offence, whether by them or by another person.
A person charged with his offence may argue in their defence that they were dealing with their own identity information.
Which court will hear the matter?
This offence is a Table 1 offence. That means that your matter will likely be dealt with in the Local Court. However, either the Prosecutor or the Defendant can elect to have the matter dealt with in the District Court. If they do so, this will give rise to harsher penalties.
If you require legal advice or representation in any legal matter, please contact Armstrong Legal.