Unlawful Possession of Personal Identification Information: NY Penal Law 190.81, 190.82 and 190.83
Whether you are in Manhattan or Westchester, Brooklyn or Rockland, the New York Penal Law specifies how much and what type of personal identification information you may possess of another person without their permission or authority. No, the Manhattan District Attorney nor his counterparts elsewhere in Queens and Dutchess counties have no interest in investigating and prosecuting New York Penal Law 190.81, 190.82 or 190.83 cases because you merely have your mother’s maiden name written out on the back of a business card. That said, depending on the nature of the identification information and the context of your possession, you will unquestionably find yourself in a jail cell waiting to see a criminal court judge.
Contingent upon the degree of Unlawful Possession of Personal Identification Information, the crime is either a misdemeanor or a felony offense. The former, New York Penal Law 190.81, is a class “A” misdemeanor with a penalty upon conviction of as long as one year in jail. The two felony offenses, New York Penal Law 190.82 and New York Penal Law 190.83, are class “E” and “D” felonies respectively. While your Identity Theft lawyer and criminal defense attorney can argue for a lesser sentence, your possible exposure for NY Penal Law 190.82 is four years in prison and as much as seven years on a NY Penal Law 190.83 conviction. Keep in mind that it is fairly common that the District Attorney or New York State Attorney General will charge Unlawful Possession of Personal Identification Information as either a misdemeanor or felony on a complaint or indictment with other offenses that are equal or more significant crimes.Unlawful Possession of Personal Identification: Understanding the Crime and Degrees
Generally, a person is guilty of Unlawful Possession of Personal Identification Information when that person knowingly possesses certain personal identification of another such as a checking account number or code, a debit card number or code, a computer system password, and even that person’s mother’s maiden name. While the list is more extensive than provided here, keep in mind that the statutes set forth what types of personal identification information “count” for violations of PL 190.81, PL 190.82 and PL 190.83.
Third Degree Unlawful Possession of Personal Identification Information: NY PL 190.81
Assuming you possess stipulated personal information consistent with the statute, the additional element prosecutors must prove beyond a reasonable doubt to secure a conviction for Third Degree Unlawful Possession of Personal Identification Information is that you had this information knowing its intended use was for the furtherance of a crime. How you possess this information – in writing or encrypted on an android phone – is as irrelevant. Similarly, the crime that the personal information is intended to further is inconsequential as long as it is set forth in New York Penal Law Article 190. While it may seem more significant to you, the law makes no distinction, for example, whether you possess one voice print or 249 retinal images. The number of personal identification information can be no greater than 250 or more before the criminal defense of the offenses is increased.
Second Degree Unlawful Possession of Personal Identification Information: NY PL 190.82
Elevating misdemeanor conduct to a felony offense for the purpose of Second Degree Unlawful Possession of Personal Identification is fairly simple. If you possess 250 or more pieces of personal information, then you have run afoul of NY PL 190.82.
First Degree Unlawful Possession of Personal Identification Information: NY PL 190.83
First Degree Unlawful Possession of Personal Information deviates greatly from the lesser offenses. From a foundational standpoint, for law enforcement to charge you with any subsection of NY Penal Law 190.83 you must first violate Second Degree Unlawful Possession of Personal Identification, NY Penal Law 190.82. That is, you must have at least 250 pieces of statutorily defined personal identification information. With that in mind, if you have the intent to further the commission of Second Degree Identity Theft, NY Penal Law 190.79, and you supervise at least three other people who are acting in concert as accomplices, prosecutors can seek an indictment for your violation of NY Penal Law 190.83(1)
If you violate Second Degree Unlawful Possession of Personal Identification Information and have a conviction in the preceding five years for certain crimes including Grand Larceny and other NY Penal Law Article 190.80 offenses, the District Attorney can “bump up” your crime to NY Penal Law 190.83(2).
The third subsection of First Degree Unlawful Possession of Personal Identification Information, NY Penal Law 190.83(3), also relates back to the intentional furtherance of Second Degree Identity Theft. If a detective or police officer with the NYPD, Dutchess County Sherriff, NY State Police or any local police department catches you with 250 pieces of personal identification information and you supervise at least two cohorts and know that the personal information in your possession belongs to a member or the armed forces who is deployed outside the “lower 48,” you are guilty of this felony.Unlawful Possession of Personal Identification Information: Your Case – Your Future
If you are charged with any degree of Unlawful Possession of Personal Identification Information it is important to retain a skilled and experienced defense attorney who has real, tangible, training and hands on experience in this unique area of law. As former prosecutors with the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office and criminal lawyers serving clients throughout the NYC metropolitan area, Crotty Saland PC knows how to navigate the murky waters of this offense and related charges and is well aware of the direct and collateral consequences of any Identity Theft type conviction.
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Remember, when confronted with the prospects of a life altering criminal record, there are no substitutes for knowledge, experience and advocacy.
Call our Unlawful Possession of Personal Identification Information lawyers and former Assistant District Attorneys at (212) 312-7129 or contact us online today.