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New York Forgery Frequently Asked Questions

Forgery is a white-collar crime that involves the creation of a false written document with the intent to defraud. Forgery offenses can range from misdemeanors to felonies and can take several forms. Being charged with forgery is serious and you will need the representation of an experienced attorney.

What are the Differences Between Criminal Forgery and Misdemeanor Forgery?

There are three types of forgery crimes in New York. Forgery in the third degree is a misdemeanor. However, the charges of forgery in the second and third degree are both felonies. All of the crimes involve intending to defraud someone by creating a false written document. For this crime, a false written document is anything like computer data or a computer program that is used to record information to be used to advantage or disadvantage another person. Examples can be a receipt, deed, driver’s license, and a contract. The difference between a felony forgery charge and a misdemeanor forgery is the type of instrument that was involved in the forgery.

You will be charged with forgery in the third degree if you alter or falsify a written instrument with the intentions to defraud. Under New York law, this is a class A misdemeanor. If convicted, the punishment is up to a year in jail.

Writing a false instrument becomes felony forgery in the second degree if the false instrument is a will, deed, credit card, contract, prescription, or public record. This is a class D felony and has a sentence of up to 7 years in prison.

Forgery in the first degree is the most serious of these offenses. It’s a class C felony that carries a sentence of up to 15 years in prison. You will be charged with this crime if the false written instrument involves securities, money, stocks, bonds, or stamps.

What is Criminal Possession of a Forged Instrument?

It’s not only against the law to create a forged document, it’s illegal to knowingly possess one. If you knowingly possess a false document, you could face a criminal possession in the third-degree charge. This charge is a class A misdemeanor. It carries a maximum sentence of 1 year in jail. If the instrument involved is one that is in the second-degree statute, you could be charged with a Class D felony for criminal possession of a forged instrument in the second degree. Knowingly possessing money, stamps, stocks, and other documents constitutes criminal possession of a forged document in the first degree. The crime of forgery in the first degree is listed as a class C felony. A conviction is punishable up to 15 years in prison.

Are There Other Types of Forgery Crimes?

Yes. Using slugs in a vending machine, coin box, or turnstile with the intent to defraud is considered to be a forgery charge. Slugs are objects that aren’t coins but are designed to look like them. The unlawful use of slugs in the second degree is a class B misdemeanor. The unlawful use of slugs in the first degree is a class E felony.

Altering, defacing and destroying a vehicle identification number is also a forgery crime. This is a class felony and can result in three months in jail. Anyone in possession of a sticker or label with a vehicle identification number that has been altered or removed will face charge of illegal possession of a vehicle identification number. This crime is listed as a class E felony. If convicted, you can face up a maximum prison sentence of 4 years.

If you are facing forgery charges, you get to get experienced legal representation. These are serious charges that, if convicted, could have you going serious jail time. The attorneys have experience with forgery crimes. If you, or someone you know, needs legal representation, please contact us at Spodek Law Group. Our number is 888-729-7065. You can also visit our website at www.criminallawyersnyc.com.

by Leonard on Spodek Law Group
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