Possession of Identification Information
In Victoria, possession of identification information 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 Identification Information:
The offence of possession of identification information is contained in section 192C of the Crimes Act 1958 which states:
A person, who possesses identification information (that is not identification information that relates to the person), and –
- who is aware that, or aware that there is a substantial risk that, the information is identification information; and
- who intends to use the information 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 Identification Information?
- Possessing a false passport to take out a loan at a bank;
- Possessing a digital signature with the intention of forging a witness signature on a statutory declaration;
- Possessing another person’s licence with the intention of stealing funds from that person’s bank account.
What the Police Must Prove:
To convict you of possession of identification information, the prosecution must prove each of the following matters beyond a reasonable doubt:
- That you possessed;
- Identification information which does not relate to you; and,
- Were aware that, or aware there was a substantial risk, the information was identification information; and,
- Intended to use or supply the information 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 a licence to be used for obtaining a firearm but it was impossible to have ever obtained the firearm due to the availability of the firearm, you may still be found guilty of the offence.
Possible Defences for Possession of Identification Information:
Possible defences to possession of identification information include but are not limited to:
- Factual Dispute.
Which Court Will Hear Your Matter?
Possession of identification information 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.