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First Degree Criminal Possession of a Forged Instrument

The most serious crime involving a forged instrument in the state of New York is criminal possession of a forged instrument in the first degree. If you are arrested for first degree criminal possession of a forged instrument, you can expect to be visited not only by police but by the Secret Service as well. As per the New York Penal Law 170.30, criminal possession of a forged instrument in the first degree is classified as a class C felony, which means you could face a prison term of as long as 15 years, even if it is your first offense. In general, facing any forged instrument, forgery or fraud type of criminal charges in the state of New York requires that you seek the assistance of a skilled and experienced New York criminal attorney. However, if you face charges of first degree criminal possession of a forged instrument, they are the most serious of all and you should absolutely hire an attorney no matter what.

New York Penal Law 170.30 Defined

Criminal possession of a forged instrument in the first degree as per New York Penal Law 170.30 was founded on the same principles as the lower degree crimes of criminal possession of a forged instrument. To be charged with the crime, you must first actually have in your possession an instrument that you know was forged, as in changed, altered or falsely created, and you must possess the instrument with the intention of defrauding or deceiving another person. In general, the type of instrument in your possession is what distinguishes criminal possession in the first degree from lesser felonies and misdemeanor crimes. Your attorney can explain to you that the New York Penal Law 170.30 generally involves instruments that are believed to be money, stamps, securities or any type of valuable instrument that is normally issued by the government or by a government instrumentality. Another way that the crime falls under the category of criminal possession of a forged instrument is if the item was stock, bonds or something else that represents the interest in or claims against a corporation or other organization as property.

What Crimes are Associated with Criminal Possession of a Forged Instrument in the First Degree?

Although there is no guide that is predetermined as to how the allegations surrounding a criminal possession of a forged instrument in the first degree arrest, investigation or indictment proceed, there are two key aspects that criminal attorneys examine during such a case. The first is not as serious and typically involves a person who has counterfeit or fake money on his or her person. It’s not uncommon in such cases for there to be no proof of a larger scheme involved, depending on the specific amount of the fraudulent money that is uncovered. However, if the individual was trying to use or pass on the money, the charges can change. The second situation that can result in a prosecution involves larger schemes. Such cases can include wiretaps, search warrants and RICO type of cases. In such a scenario, the individual can be charged with a number of other felonies, such as:

• Forgery
• Grand larceny
• Criminal possession of stolen property
• Identity theft
• Falsifying business records
• Offering a false instrument for filing
• Enterprise corruption

What Should You Do if You are Investigated or Arrested for Criminal Possession of a Forged Instrument in the First Degree?

Generally speaking, there is no one kind of defense for an allegation or arrest of criminal possession of a forged instrument in the first degree. Each and every case is unique and requires thorough examination. Regardless of the circumstances, it is extremely important to hire an experienced criminal attorney who has a depth of knowledge of this particular kind of crime. It is the best way to avoid receiving a felony record and time in prison. It is of utmost importance to get familiar with the law and speak to a skilled New York criminal defense attorney who can take a good, hard look at your case and come up with potential defenses that can help your cause.

Possible Defenses for First Degree Criminal Possession of a Forged Instrument

There are certain defenses your attorney can use to your advantage in your case when you face criminal possession of a forged instrument in the first degree. These are the most common:

• You didn’t know the instrument was fake or fraud
• You unknowingly possessed one fraudulent bill among several legitimate bills

If you have been arrested in New York for first degree criminal possession of a forged instrument, it’s important to hire a skilled criminal defense attorney immediately. Get in touch with a lawyer so that you can have the charges against you reduced or even dropped.

by Leonard on Spodek Law Group
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