Identity Theft

According to Attorney-General’s Department, it is estimated that identity related crimes costs Australia over $1.6 billion annually. Of this amount, $900 is lost through crimes such as credit card fraud, identity theft and other scams that fraudulently obtain identification information. As a result, identity crimes are considered to be a serious offence and can be found under section 192J of the Crimes Act 1900 (NSW).

In fact, the Crimes Act states that 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.

To best understand the identity crimes, it is important to understand what elements may be considered as identification information. Identification information includes:

  • 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 series of number or letters (or both) intended for use as a means of personal identification,
  • An ABN

As a leading criminal defence law firm based in Sydney, our expert team of fraud lawyers possess a wealth of knowledge in relation to credit card fraud, identity theft and other identity crimes.

If you or somebody you know is facing such charges, contact Benjamin Leonardo – The Defenders now for a FREE consultation.

PENALTIES

Identity related crimes are seen as a serious criminal offence in the state of NSW. As seen in section 192J of the Crimes Act 1900, the maximum penalty that could be enforced, is 10 years’ imprisonment, should you be found guilty at the District Court. However, this penalty is typically dealt with at the Local Court, in which the maximum penalty is a gaol term of only 2 years.

It is also important to remember that the Court has the discretion to enforce less serious punishments, should it be appropriate. Alternative penalties such as home detention, Intensive Correction Orders (ICOs), fines or Community Service Orders (CSOs) are often more favourable than full time imprisonment and could be imposed upon the Court’s consideration of the crime, personal circumstances and past criminal history. The Court will also typically give less severe penalties of some kind to individuals who have entered a guilty plea. This could include any of alternative punishments mentioned, a reduced gaol term or potentially a section 10 dismissal, whereby no conviction is recorded.

If you are facing identity fraud charges, our criminal defence lawyers can provide accurate advice in relation to the penalties your specific case.

For a FREE first consultation, contact Benjamin Leonardo – The Defenders on (02) 9283 3033.

GUILTY

In order to be found guilty of charges relating to identity fraud, the Police must prove that you did commit the crime as per section 192J of the Crimes Act 1900. Therefore, in order to be found guilty, the Police must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that:

  • You dealt with;
  • Identification information;
  • With the intention of committing or facilitating the commission of;
  • An indictable offence;

If you agree with the allegations made by the Police, you have the option to enter a guilty plea. If you choose to do so, you will likely proceed to sentencing in which one of the above penalties will be imposed.

However, our criminal defence lawyers may be able to negotiate a more favourable sentence on your behalf with the prosecution, provided you plead guilty. Pleading guilty is also favoured in the judiciary system as it often demonstrates remorse. As a result, it is not uncommon to the Court to award penalties that are lesser than the maximum sentence. Alternative punishments that are not as significant as full time imprisonment may also be more likely to be enforced.

At Benjamin Leonardo – The Defenders our team of criminal defence lawyers have won numerous industry awards and hold a 90% success rate on the criminal and traffic offences we represent. If you or somebody else you know has been charged with identity fraud, it is advised to seek legal representation immediately.

Call our Sydney based criminal defence law firm now for a FREE consultation and the most accurate advice in relation to your specific matter.

NOT GUILTY

Should you decide to plead not guilty to the identity fraud charges, the prosecution team will need to establish and prove that you did commit the crime as per section 192J of the Crimes Act 1900 (NSW). If they are successful, you could be found guilty and a penalty will be enforced by the Court.

However, if the prosecution is unable to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the crime was committed, you will be found not guilty. In order to disprove the allegations and inflict doubt on the reliability of the evidence provided, our criminal defence lawyers, cross-examine the and implement relevant legal defence strategies in order to dismiss any allegations that are made against you.

Due to the serious nature of the offence, it is recommended that you are facing such charges, to seek the expertise of dedicated and knowledgeable criminal defence lawyers. At Benjamin Leonardo – The Defenders we have wealth of experience defending various criminal charges and are dedicated to achieving the best outcome possible.

If you’re facing fraud charges in relation to identity crimes, call our team now for a FREE and confidential consultation.

THE DEFENCE

There are many defence strategies that may be used to dismiss allegations of identity fraud. Our Sydney based fraud lawyers may use the following legal defences in this instance:

Duress: Involves the use of harmful threats to coerce an individual to participate in an unlawful activity. Typically, these threats take form of death or grievous bodily harm in which it is firmly believed that by the accused that if they do not participate in the activity, the threat will take place.

Necessity: Our criminal defence lawyers may be able to raise the defence of necessity if it can be proven that our client only acted unlawfully to protect themselves from external threats from either natural or human forces. It must be proved that the situation was some what of an emergency, and the accused would have to believe that if they didn’t act, their life would have been in danger.

WHICH COURT?

The offence of identity fraud is typically heard at a Local Court unless an election has been made otherwise. If an election has been made by the prosecution or yourself, the matter will be heard at the District Court, where you will be liable to more significant penalties.

At Benjamin Leonardo – The Defenders, we are experienced criminal lawyers based in Parramatta and the Sydney CBD, however we have represented clients throughout various Courts in NSW. With a 90% success rate, clients can be confident that our fraud lawyers are dedicated to achieve the best possible outcome, regardless of the Court the matter is dealt with in.

If you have been charged with identity fraud, contact Benjamin Leonardo – The Defenders for a FREE consultation.