Possession of Equipment Used to Make (etc) Identification Information
In Victoria, possession of equipment used to make (etc) identification documentation carries a maximum penalty of 3 years imprisonment. Due to the seriousness of this offence, it is important that you seek legal advice as soon as possible so that an experienced criminal lawyer can assess your case and provide advice specific to your matter.
Armstrong Legal’s criminal lawyers are experienced at representing clients at plea and contested hearings and we stand ready to assist you, or a family member who might be facing such a charge.
Penalties the Court can impose for this charge:
- Imprisonment (Jail – Full Time)
- Community Corrections Orders
- Adjourned undertaking
The Offence of Possession of Equipment Used to Make Etc Identification Documentation
The offence of possession of equipment used to make (etc) identification documentation is contained in section 192D of the Crimes Act 1958 which states:
A person, who possesses equipment that is capable of being used to make, use, supply or retain identification documentation, and –
- who intends to use, or who intends that another person will use, the equipment to make, use, supply or retain identification documentation; and
- who intends to use the identification documentation to commit an indictable offence, or to facilitate the commission of an indictable offence –
is guilty of an offence and liable to imprisonment for a term not exceeding 3 years.
What is Identification Documentation?
“Identification documentation” means a document or other thing that:
- Contains or incorporates identification information; and,
- Is capable of being used by a person for the purpose of pretending to be, or passing themselves off as, another person (whether living or dead, or real or fictitious).
What is Identification Information?
“Identification information” means information relating to a person (whether living or dead, or real or fictitious) that is capable of being used (whether alone or in conjunction with other information) to identify, or purportedly identify, the person, being information such as:
- a name, address, date of birth or place of birth;
- information as to the person’s marital status;
- information that identifies another person as a relative of the person;
- 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 series of numbers or letters (or both) intended for use as a means of personal identification;
- an Australian Business Number within the meaning of the A New Tax System (Australian Business Number) Act 1999 of the Commonwealth.
What Actions Might Constitute Possession of Equipment Used to Make Etc Identification Documentation?
- Possession of a machine capable of producing licences and intending to create false licences to provide to others;
- Creating a database to store credit card details for the purpose of selling to others;
- Possession of a machine capable of replicating passport holograms to be placed on documents to be used in loan applications.
What the Police Must Prove:
To convict you of possession of equipment used to make (etc) identification documentation, the prosecution must prove each of the following matters beyond a reasonable doubt:
- That you possessed equipment;
- That is capable of being used to make, use, supply or retain identification documentation; and,
- You or another person intended to use the equipment;
- To make, use, supply or retain identification documentation; and,
- You intended for the identification documentation to be used to commit or facilitate an indictable offence.
A person may be found guilty of this offence even if the commission of the indictable offence was impossible. As an example, if you possess equipment which is capable of producing licences for the purpose of obtaining fraudulent loans but the bank would never have approved the loans due to an unrelated reason, you may still be found guilty of the offence.
Possible Defences for Possession of Equipment Used to Make Etc Identification Documentation:
Possible defences to possession of equipment used to make (etc) identification documentation include but are not limited to:
- Factual Dispute.
Which Court Will Hear Your Matter ?
Possession of equipment used to make (etc) identification documentation is an indictable offence which may be heard in the Magistrates’ Court or County Court. However, it is most commonly heard in the Magistrates’ Court. If the charge is heard in the Magistrates’ Court, the maximum penalty is reduced to 2 years imprisonment.