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Under the new statute, the punishment range for the offense depends on the number of "pieces" of identifying information the defendant has.

It seems logical to me that in a case where a defendant has multiple people's information we could aggregate those victims into one count to enhance the range.

Am I thinking about this right? Or do we have to charge each victim in a seperate coutn? Thoughts?
 
Posts: 64 | Location: Johnson County, Texas | Registered: May 06, 2004Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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My lay opinion is yes because the law in (c) gives a graduated offense level based on the number of items from SJF for 1 to 5 all the way up to 1st degree if 50+ items.

I doubt it is possible that any one person has anywhere near 50 pieces of information so I believe it was designed to be aggregated across victims.

Also in (b-1)(1) it specifically talks about multiple people
 
Posts: 688 | Registered: March 01, 2004Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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It looks like there were 3 separate amendments to (b)
 
Posts: 688 | Registered: March 01, 2004Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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The statute is a legislative mess. The other issue is what is a piece of information? Is it the piece of paper or document containing the identifying information? Is it each type of identifying information (SS number; date of birth, etc.)? This statute is a good example of why general statutes with broad ranges of punishment better serve the criminal justice system than crimes de jure with micromanaged punishment ranges.
 
Posts: 7860 | Location: Georgetown, Texas | Registered: January 25, 2001Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Was there ever a good answer to this question?

Does an item have to be one physical object? A checkbook is one item, with many checks, and one bank account number.

An identification card (for instance from a university) has many protected pieces of information, but it is physically one item.

Thoughts? I'd heard there was case law on point, but I started by searching for the answer here.
 
Posts: 764 | Location: Dallas, Texas | Registered: November 04, 2003Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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My research brought me to this understanding which may or may not be right:

A document will have multiple items of id info. Your check is not one single item. It contains name, address, acct no., routing no. = 4 items
Your DL has name, dob, and address = 3 items.

THink of it this way, Crook has pad of paper with your name at top and underneath he's handwritten each of the 7 above items on the paper. We wouldn't ask if he only had one item. We'd say he's in possession of 7 different ID info. These are the items they'll use to commit fraud later on.

You can't use others' info to aggregate b/c statute requires an intent to defraud a particular person. Only items relating to that person are going to help you do that. ID items for other persons can't help you do that and therefore can't be added in to get you over the state jail hump. They can however, make the basis for a new charge as well as get you the presumption of intent to defraud.

MJ
 
Posts: 2 | Location: McKinney, Tx, United States | Registered: July 14, 2010Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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