Your Forge Defense Lawyer
In Upstate New York, the basic crime of forgery is charged at 3 different degrees. Even the lowest charge of forgery (3rd degree) can lead to one year of jail time as a misdemeanor. The other degrees are more and charged as felonies which cannot be erased in any way from a criminal record. If you have been charged or thinks they might be charged of any forgery charge needs to contact forgery lawyers from an experienced criminal defense firm such as the Law Offices of Carbone & Carbone.
As mandated by NY State law, the lowest degree charge is when someone “falsely makes, completes or alters a written instrument” and this person has done this with the intent to defraud.
THE TERM “WRITTEN INSTRUMENT” – any instrument or article, including computer data or a computer program, containing written or printed matter or the equivalent used for the purpose of reciting, conveying or recording information, embodying, or constituting a symbol or evidence of value, right privilege or identification, which is capable of being used to the advantage or disadvantage of some person”.
THE DIFFERENT DEGREES OF FORGERY:
FORGERY IN THE 3rd DEGREE – is a Class A Misdemeanor and the punishment can be a fine of up to $1000 and a possible prison sentence of up to one year. This lowest degree of forgery charge is stated in the statute as simply a person is guilty of when with intent to defraud, deceive or injure another, the falsely makes, completes or alters a written instrument.
FORGERY IN THE 2nd DEGREE – is a Class D felony which can be punishable years in prison, restitution and fines. As with many criminal charges in the New York Penal Code, the later degrees build on the lower degrees. This means that one needs to have committed the elements of third degree forgery and it then becomes second degree charge when certain documents are involved, these are:
- A will, contract commercial instrument, credit card or any other which “does or many evidence, create, transfer, terminate or otherwise affect a legal right, interest, obligation or status”.
- A public record file required / authorized by law to filed in a public place.
- A written document officially created by a government office.
- Part of an issue of tokens, public transportation transfers, etc. designed to be symbols of value in place of money to purchase services.
- A prescription of a physician, dentist or anyone else authorized to issue this type of document for a drug.
FORGERY IN THE FIRST DEGREE- is a Class C felony which is punishable by high fines and years in prison. The crime of forgery rises to the first degree, when someone commits forgery as defined in third degree with intent on certain documents as follows:
- Part of an issue of money, stamps, securities or other valuable instruments issued by a government
- Part of an issue of stock, bonds or other instruments representing interest in or claims against a corporation, organization or its property.
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