New York Forgery Frequently Asked Questions
Forgery is a white collar criminal offense that involves creating a false written document with the intent to defraud. The forgery offenses range from misdemeanors to felonies and can take a number of different forms. However, any forgery charge is serious, and requires representation from an experienced New York forgery lawyer.What is the difference between misdemeanor forgery and criminal forgery?
There are 3 forgery crimes in New York. Forgery in the third degree is a misdemeanor while forgery in the second degree and forgery in the third degree are felonies. Each involves creating a false written instrument with the intent to defraud. A “written instrument” is anything such as computer data or a computer program that is used to record information that can be used to advantage or disadvantage someone. Examples of “written instruments” include a driver’s license, receipt, money, deed, or a contract. The difference between misdemeanor forgery and a felony forgery charge is the type of written instrument involved in the forgery. A New York forgery lawyer will review the facts of your case an explain the basis for the specific forgery charges against you.
Thus, you will face the charge of forgery in the third degree if you falsely complete, make or alter a written instrument with the intent to defraud. It is a class A misdemeanor with a maximum possible sentence of a year in jail.
The act will become felony forgery in the second degree if the written instrument is or is intended to be specific types of documents such as a will, deed, contract, credit card, public record or prescription. Forgery in the second degree is a class D felony with a maximum possible sentence of 7 years in prison.
The most serious forgery offense is forgery in the first degree. It is a class C felony. You will face this charge if the written instrument involves money, stamps, securities, stocks or bonds. If you are convicted you will face a possible sentence of 15 years in prison.What is criminal possession of a forged instrument?
As a forgery lawyer in New York will explain, not only is it against the law to create or make a forged instrument, it is also against the law to knowingly possess a forged instrument. At minimum, if you knowingly possess a forged written instrument, you will face the charge of criminal possession of a forged instrument in the third degree, a class A misdemeanor with a maximum possible sentence of 1 year in jail. If the written instrument involved is a deed, will, contract, credit card, or other type of document described in the forgery in the second degree statute, you will face a charge of criminal possession of a forged instrument in the second degree, a class D felony. If the forged document that you knowingly possess is money, stocks, stamps or other type of document described in the forgery in the first degree statute, you will face a charge of criminal possession of a forged instrument in the first degree, a class C felony, punishable with up to 15 years in prison.Are there any other forgery crimes?
Yes. Unlawfully using slugs is using an object that is not a coin, but is similar in shape in size in a coin box, turnstile, or vending machine with the intent to defraud. Unlawfully using slugs in the second degree is a class B misdemeanor, while unlawfully using slugs in the first degree is a class E felony.
If you destroy, deface, alter or cover a vehicle identification number, you will face a charge of forgery of a vehicle identification number, a class felony, punishable by up to 3 months in jail. If you possess a sticker or label with a vehicle identification number that has been removed, or one that has been altered, you will face the charge of illegal possession of a vehicle identification number, a class E felony that is punishable by up to 4 years in prison.Contact the Law Offices of Stephen Bilkis & Associates
Whether it is related to a written instrument, a slug, or a vehicle identification number, if you are facing a forgery charge, it is important to have experienced legal representation. Even if the charge is a misdemeanor, the consequences of a conviction can be significant as you may end up in prison and you will have a criminal record. The forgery attorneys serving New York at the Law Offices of Stephen Bilkis & Associates have years of experience successfully defending clients in New York criminal courts who have been charged with felonies and misdemeanors. Contact us at 800.696.9529 to schedule a free, no obligation consultation regarding your case. We serve those accused of crimes in the following locations: the Bronx, Brooklyn, Long Island, Manhattan, Nassau County, Queens, Staten Island, Suffolk County and Westchester County.