In New York, there are several recognized degrees of forgery. For the purpose of this article, we will specifically discuss forgery in the second and first degree. Due to the severity of forgery charges, it is important for defendants to understand the charges against them and to retain a criminal defense attorney right away.
Second Degree Forgery in NY
Under New York law, basic forgery charges in NY can be elevated to second-degree forgery if a person alters, falsely makes, deceives, or alters a written document with the intent to defraud an individual or the government. Written instruments can include wills, deeds, assignments, contracts, codicils, credit cards, driver’s license, IDs or any other instrument that can be filed in a public office or with a public servant as a symbol of value, used in place of money, to purchase property, or obtain a prescription that can only be written by a licensed physician.
First Degree Forgery in NY
A forgery charge will be elevated to a first-degree charge if a person falsely makes, alters, or completes with a written instrument any issue of money including stamps, securities, or other valuable instruments. First-degree forgery charges also pertain to issues of stock, claims against a corporation, or any other valuable instrument issued by a government entity.
Forgery Defenses in New York
If you are charged with forgery in the first or second degree, you may have a variety of defenses available to you. By hiring a criminal defense attorney to represent you, you may be able to have charges dismissed or lessened. The basic defense for forgery charges revolves around intent. To be prosecuted for forgery charges in NY, a prosecutor must prove that you have an intent to defraud or deceive another person. Additionally, you must have had knowledge that the instrument was forged. Other defenses are available for persons less than 16 years of age, or persons with a mental disease or defect.
Forgery convictions range from class A misdemeanor to class C felonies. A class C felony is related to forgery in the first degree. Second-degree forgery charges can result in a one-year prison sentence. A more serious class C felony comes with a mandatory 15-year prison sentence and can result in a fine of $5,000 or twice the amount the defendant gained from the forgery.
Forgery Charges Can Change a Person’s Life
Due to the severity of forgery charges in the 1st or 2nd degree, it is important to retain an attorney right away. A reputable New York criminal defense attorney can go over the details of your chase, the evidence the prosecuting office has against you, and come up with a viable defense on your behalf.
Forgery Defense Attorney in New York
If you’ve been charged with forgery in New York, contact The Law Office of Stephan Siegel, Esq. He has been a New York criminal defense attorney for decades and has argued over 1,000 cases in court. To learn more about what Mr. Stephan Jacob Siegel, Esq. can do for you contact him today.