This article was written by Michelle Makela - Legal Practice Director

Michelle has over 15 years experience in the legal industry, working across commercial litigation, Criminal Law, Family Law and estate planning.  Michelle has been involved in all practice areas of the firm and in her personal practice has had experience in litigation at all levels (State and Federal Industrial Tribunals, the Supreme Court, Court of Appeal, the Federal Court, Federal...

Posession Of Identification Information


In NSW it is an offence to possess identification information with the intention of committing an indictable offence. The offence is one which carries a maximum penalty of 7 years imprisonment.

Definitions

Identification information means information relating to another person (whether living or dead, real or fictitious, or an individual or body corporate) that is capable of being used (whether alone or in conjunction with other information) to identify or purportedly identify the person, and includes the following:

  • a name or address;
  • a date or place of birth, marital status, relative’s identity or similar information;
  • a driver licence or driver licence number;
  • a passport or passport number;
  • biometric data;
  • a voice print;
  • a credit or debit card, its number or data stored or encrypted on it;
  • a financial account number, user name or password;
  • a digital signature;
  • a serious of numbers or letters (or both) intended for use as a means of personal identification;
  • an ABN.

The Offence Of Possession Of Identification Information

The offence of Possession of Identification information is contained in Section 192K of the Crimes Act 1900 which states that any person who possesses identification with the intention of committing or facilitating the commission of an indictable offence is guilty of an offence.

What Actions Might Constitute Possessing Identification Information?

  • Possessing someone else’s credit cards intending to use the to make purchases;
  • Having mail addressed to numerous other people in order to apply for credit cards in their name;
  • Having someone’s passport in your possession so you can apply for a drivers licence in their name (but with your photo);
  • Keeping a copy of someone’s birth certificate in order to make an application for a loan one day.

What The Police Must Prove

To convict a person of a possession of identification information offence the police must prove that the accused:

  • possessed identification information; and
  • did so with the intention of committing an indictable offence.

What Court Will Hear Your Matter?

As possession of identification information is an indictable offence it will be finalised in the Local Court unless an election is made to have it finalised in theDistrict Court.

Penalties

In NSW, a court can impose any of the following penalties for this charge:

If you require any legal advice in relation to possessing identification information or any other legal matter, call Armstrong Legal on 1300 038 223 or send us an email.

WHERE TO NEXT?

If you suspect that you may be under investigation, or if you have been charged with an offence, it is vital to get competent legal advice as early as possible. Our lawyers are highly specialised in criminal law and will be able to guide you through the process while dealing with the various authorities related to your matter.

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