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Criminal Possession of a Forged Instrument

Not only can a person be charged with forgery, they can also he charged with criminal possession of a forged instrument. Please see our article on forgery for more information on the different charges and sentences related to that specific charge. When it comes to criminal possession on a forged instrument, it can be charged in the third degree, being a class A misdemeanor punishable by up to a year in jail, in the second degree, a class D felony punishable by 7 year maximum sentence, and in the first degree, a class C felony punishable by 15 years maximum sentence. If you have been charged with criminal possession of a forged instrument in any degree, call our experienced team of New York criminal attorneys now.

Criminal possession of a forged instrument in the third degree can be charged when a person, with knowledge that it is forged and with intent to defraud, deceive or injure another, utters or possesses a forged instrument. For definitions of what forged instruments are, please see our article on forgery. Criminal possession of a forged instrument in the second degree requires possession with knowledge that it is forged and intent to defraud, deceive or injure another and the instrument is a public record, codicil, will, prescription, deed, credit card, written instrument officially created or issued by a governmental agency, or commercial instrument. Additionally, if a person possesses two or more forged instruments that are a debit card or credit card, they are presumed to have the knowledge that the instruments are forged and have the intent to defraud, deceive or injure another. What this mean is that it does not have to be proven that the possessor had knowledge that the items were forged, just that they possessed two of the cards mentioned above.

To be charged with criminal possession of a forged instrument in the first degree, which is the most serious as a class C felony, a person must have both knowledge and intent to defraud, deceive or injure another while possessing part of an issue of money, stamps, stocks, bonds or other valuable instruments issued by a governmental agency. This charge can lead to a maximum sentence of 15 years in prison. It is important to note that it is not a defense that a person forged or participated in the forgery of the instrument at issue, due to a person not being able to be convicted of possession of a forged instrument and forgery when dealing with the same instrument.

Additionally, a person can be charged with criminal possession of a forgery device, if they make or possess with knowledge of its character any plate, die or other device or equipment specifically designed for use in forging written instruments or capable of being adaptable for such use. This charge is a class D felony, so like criminal possession in the second, it can lead to a 7-year maximum sentence if not handled properly.

If you have been charged with any of the sections of forgery listed above, call our experienced team of New York criminal attorneys now to discuss what options you have.

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