Texas Penal Code - PENAL § 32.51. Fraudulent Use or Possession of Identifying Information

(a) In this section:

(1) “Identifying information” means information that alone or in conjunction with other information identifies a person, including a person's:

(A) name and date of birth;

(B) unique biometric data, including the person's fingerprint, voice print, or retina or iris image;

(C) unique electronic identification number, address, routing code, or financial institution account number;

(D) telecommunication identifying information or access device;  and

(E) social security number or other government-issued identification number.

(2) “Telecommunication access device” means a card, plate, code, account number, personal identification number, electronic serial number, mobile identification number, or other telecommunications service, equipment, or instrument identifier or means of account access that alone or in conjunction with another telecommunication access device may be used to:

(A) obtain money, goods, services, or other thing of value;  or

(B) initiate a transfer of funds other than a transfer originated solely by paper instrument.

(b) A person commits an offense if the person, with the intent to harm or defraud another, obtains, possesses, transfers, or uses an item of:

(1) identifying information of another person without the other person's consent or effective consent;

(2) information concerning a deceased natural person, including a stillborn infant or fetus, that would be identifying information of that person were that person alive, if the item of information is obtained, possessed, transferred, or used without legal authorization;  or

(3) identifying information of a child younger than 18 years of age.

(b-1) For the purposes of Subsection (b), the actor is presumed to have the intent to harm or defraud another if the actor possesses:

(1) the identifying information of three or more other persons;

(2) information described by Subsection (b)(2) concerning three or more deceased persons;  or

(3) information described by Subdivision (1) or (2) concerning three or more persons or deceased persons.

(b-2) The presumption established under Subsection (b-1) does not apply to a business or other commercial entity or a government agency that is engaged in a business activity or governmental function that does not violate a penal law of this state.

(c) An offense under this section is:

(1) a state jail felony if the number of items obtained, possessed, transferred, or used is less than five;

(2) a felony of the third degree if the number of items obtained, possessed, transferred, or used is five or more but less than 10;

(3) a felony of the second degree if the number of items obtained, possessed, transferred, or used is 10 or more but less than 50;  or

(4) a felony of the first degree if the number of items obtained, possessed, transferred, or used is 50 or more.

(c-1) An offense described for purposes of punishment by Subsections (c)(1)-(3) is increased to the next higher category of offense if it is shown on the trial of the offense that:

(1) the offense was committed against an elderly individual as defined by Section 22.04 ;  or

(2) the actor fraudulently used identifying information with the intent to facilitate an offense under Article 62.102, Code of Criminal Procedure .

(d) If a court orders a defendant convicted of an offense under this section to make restitution to the victim of the offense, the court may order the defendant to reimburse the victim for lost income or other expenses, other than attorney's fees, incurred as a result of the offense.

(e) If conduct that constitutes an offense under this section also constitutes an offense under any other law, the actor may be prosecuted under this section, the other law, or both.

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