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Second Degree Criminal Possession of a Forged Instrument

Forgery is a serious crime in New York. The signing of another person’s name on any document with the intent to defraud is considered a crime, and it’s punishable by law. When the signature is on an official document such as mortgage paperwork or other financial paperwork, it becomes even more dangerous and tends to require stricter punishment. When someone in New York is charged with criminal possession of a forged instrument in the second degree, the crime is considered a Class D Felony. It’s going to require time in court, potential jail time, and fines.

What is criminal possession of a forged instrument in the second degree?

New York law classifies this as a criminal problem in which you have possession of a document that’s been forged. It must be known to you that the document is forged whether you did the forging yourself or had someone else do it for you. Your possession of this document is intended for use to defraud someone else either financial, medically, or in any other sense. The prosecution in your case must be able to prove you knowingly had possession of a forged instrument with the intent to defraud someone by using it.

Depending on the nature of the forged instrument, there are harsh punishments. If it’s a small document or a check that’s not worth much money, you might find a prosecutor is willing to work with you by minimizing your crime to a misdemeanor. This usually only happens if you are a first-time offender without a criminal history and the crime it’s particularly large. For example, a forged check taken from someone’s handbag and made out to you for $100 by you is a crime, but they might work with you in the court to scare you from ever doing this again.

If you are accused of forging a check for $10,000 by taking it from the handbag of a woman you work with in a nursing home, for example, the charges will be criminal. The amount of the check plays a large role in the discipline you receive. It’s going to cost you as many as five years in jail. It’s also important to remember that each count of possession of a forged instrument in the second degree is worth up to five years in prison. If you have five checks all made out to you and forged by you, you face up to 25 years in prison when they’re each broken down into a separate count.

Defending This Crime

The only way to ensure you get a fair trial and a fair punishment for forging or carrying forged instruments in New York is with the help of a criminal attorney who has ample experience working with clients who’ve been accused of the same. An attorney knows the ins and outs of the law, and they have the ability to provide you with the defense you need when it’s time for you to go to trial.

A criminal defense attorney can help you prove you had nothing to do with this if you are innocent, and they can even work to disprove the prosecution if you are not. Whether you are innocent of this crime or not has no bearing on the defense used by your attorney. The prosecution must prove beyond a reasonable doubt you knowingly had possession of a forged instrument and planned on using it with the intent to defraud or cause harm to someone else. If there is not enough evidence to prove you knew this was the case, the prosecution cannot ask for you to receive the most serious punishment.

Protecting yourself from jail and restitution is difficult in a felony case, but it’s necessary. If you are tired and convicted of this crime, the felony charge remains on your record the rest of your life. Felony charges do not disappear, and they make it difficult for you to provide for your family when you are finally out of jail and able to get back to real life. Few employers want to hire someone with a felony charge on their record, especially if it’s in a financial realm. It’s difficult to secure a mortgage, to rent a home or apartment, and to find work with a felony charge on your record.

It’s so important you exercise your right to an attorney when you are charged with a crime such as criminal possession of a forged instrument in the second degree in New York. A criminal defense attorney is the best line of defense you have at your disposal, and they can make it much easier for you when it’s time to appear in court for your crimes.

by Leonard on Spodek Law Group
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