Forgery encompasses multiple different types of false articles. The charges range from forgery in the third degree, a class A misdemeanor, to forgery in the first which is a class C felony. If you are found to be in possession of items that have been forged, you could even be charged with criminal possession of a forged instrument, or criminal possession of forgery devices. If you find yourself with charges of forgery, in any degree, call our experienced team of New York criminal attorneys now to assist you.
Some of the categories for forged items include written instruments which are any instrument or article, including computer data or programs that contain written material that is used for the purpose of conveying or recording information or constituting evidence of value, or identification that is capable of being used to advantage or disadvantage a person. Complete written instruments are instruments fully drawn to every feature, also including signatures, endorsements or attestations. Incomplete written instruments are instruments that contain some matter, either in content or authentication but require additional matter to be considered complete. Think of counterfeit money as complete instruments, while the paper that the bills are being replicated on would be an incomplete instrument.
A person can also falsely make, which is the act of making or drawing a complete or incomplete written instrument which is then given as if it were authentic, but which the true maker did not authorize or create. Similarly, falsely completing an article is when a written instrument is added to, changed or matter is inserted to give the impression that it is authentic without the authority to have done so. Again, similarly is falsely altering which is when a person without authority changes a written instrument, either in its complete or incomplete form, by erasing, deleting, obliterating or inserting new matter.
Forgery in the third is the least of the offenses related to forgery and is a class A misdemeanor. This is when a person falsely makes, completes or alters a written instrument with the intent to defraud, deceive or injure another. If that instrument is a deed, will, codicil, contract, assignment, commercial instrument, credit card, public record, issue of tokens, public transportation transfers, prescription or written instruments officially created by a public office, public servant, or governmental agency, a person can be charged with forgery in the second, becoming a class D felony as well. The most serious felony charge is felony in the first, which is when a person with intent to defraud, deceive or injure another makes, completes or alters part of an issue of money, stamps, securities or other valuable instruments issued by a government or government agency, or part of an issue of stock, bonds or other instruments representing interests in or claims against a corporate or other organization or its property. This charge is a class C felony and can result in a maximum of 15 years in prison if the case is not handled properly.
Call our experienced team of New York criminal attorneys now to make sure that your case is handled properly, and the best result is achieved. For more information on possession of forged items or forgery devices, see our pages that discuss these more in depth.