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New York Criminal Defense Law Blog

Possible defenses to forgery allegations in New York

If you have been accused of forgery in the state of New York, it is important to take such an allegation very seriously. This is because the consequences of a forgery charge could have the potential to affect your career and credibility for many years to come. Make sure that you understand the possible penalties that you are at risk of, as well as the defenses that you have the opportunity to claim.

In the state of New York, there are three different degrees of forgery charges. Third-degree forgery is the least serious of the three, and this can lead to up to one-year imprisonment as well as a $1,000 maximum fine. Second-degree forgery is charged as a felony and has a higher potential to affect your future opportunities. If charged, you could face up to seven years in prison. First-degree forgery is the most serious charge and can result in a maximum of 15 years' imprisonment.

Your defense strategy's purpose must be defined

Facing a felony charge is a wakeup call for some people, especially those who make an honest mistake that led to criminal charges. Many people don't realize that something they are doing is illegal. For example, using someone else's debit card, even if they gave it to you, could lead to criminal charges in some instances.

We know that you might be shocked to learn that you are now a defendant in a criminal matter. This is frightening, especially if it is your first time in criminal court. We are here to help you discover what options you have. You must review each choice carefully since you might face life-long consequences stemming from a conviction.

Medical professionals face multiple drug distribution charges

New York has strict laws in place to regulate how doctors, pharmacists and other medical professionals prescribe and dispense certain medications. In particular, opioid prescriptions are likely to draw the scrutiny of the authorities due to the increased attention to this controlled substance on a national level.

According to Pix11 News, the New York Police Department recently worked with Drug Enforcement Administration agents to arrest five doctors, a nurse practitioner and a pharmacist for alleged illegal activities related to oxycodone.

2 federal securities laws public companies must comply with

Companies going public and offering stocks must follow specific rules. When they don't, there is a chance that criminal charges might follow. In some cases, civil lawsuits are possible. It is imperative that anyone who is in this profession understands what they are expected to do to avoid legal issues.

There are two primary federal securities acts that govern the companies that are offering securities. These include the Securities Act of 1933, which is commonly referred to as the Securities Act, and the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, which is known as the Exchange Act. Failing to comply with the terms set forth in these can lead to serious issues.

What does the New York penal code say about conspiracy?

There are six different levels of conspiracy in New York. The state's penal code enumerates these convictions, which range from misdemeanor to felony, depending on the level of the offense.

Here are the details on the differences between the six degrees of conspiracy:

  • Sixth degree: There is intent that a person or persons will perform an act that constitutes a crime, and the conspirator agrees to either engage in or help cause the act. This conviction results in a class B misdemeanor.
  • Fifth degree: The conspirator agrees to engage in or help cause a felony, or the conspirator is at least 18 years old and agrees to help or participate in illegal behavior with one or more individuals under 16 years old. A fifth-degree conspiracy conviction is a class A misdemeanor.
  • Fourth degree: This involves the intent to engage in or assist with a class B or class C felony, or the intent of a legal adult to participate in or assist minors under the age of 16 to perform a felony. Agreeing to cause or engage in a third-degree money laundering act is also fourth-degree conspiracy. These activities are class E felonies.
  • Third degree: An adult who intends to cause or assist in performing a class B or class C felony with one or more minors may be charged with third-degree conspiracy, which is a class D felony conviction.
  • Second degree: An individual agrees with at least one person to engage in or cause a class A felony offense. A second-degree conspiracy conviction is a class B felony.
  • First degree: An individual over 18 years old who agrees to assist or participate in the act of a class A felony offense with one or more minors under the age of 16 is guilty of first-degree conspiracy. This is a class A-1 felony conviction.

Think about these questions when working on your defense

Your criminal defense has to be a priority once you find out that you're facing charges. There are several things that you have to work through when you are planning a defense. One of the first things you need to do is to decide what goal you have for it.

There are a few questions you can ask yourself to come up with your goal. Here are a few to get you started:

  • Do you admit that you committed the crime?
  • Are you willing to consider a plea deal?
  • What penalties do you think are appropriate?
  • Are you trying to be found not guilty or do you want to minimize your penalties?

3 types of mortgage fraud

Real estate transactions are legal in nature, and thus everyone involved will have to sign a variety of legal documents. If anyone includes falsified information or leaves out important information that affects the financing of the purchase, it is mortgage fraud.

On the federal level, the IRS, the FBI, the Postal Inspection Service, and the Department of Housing and Urban Development may investigate potential mortgage fraud. State and local agencies may also become involved in mortgage fraud investigations. However, even though the investigation may encompass multiple entities, the fact that there is not a single agency responsible for mortgage fraud oversight often makes it difficult to identify.

Tax fraud is a very serious matter to face

Many things can lead to white collar charges. One of these is tax fraud. Everyone, including business entities, must ensure they file correct income tax returns. When there are errors in a tax return, the Internal Revenue Service is charged with determining what is going on when there are incorrect components to returns or even missing ones.

It is estimated that around 17 percent of taxpayers don't comply with applicable tax codes each year. The majority of these, around 75 percent, are individual taxpayers instead of corporations. The issue then becomes whether the person committed tax fraud or simply made a mistake.

White collar cases have some challenges in the court process

White collar crimes seem to be all over the news these days. Many people don't realize just how tough some of these cases are. One of the specific challenges that the court faces is deciding a sentence when a person is convicted. While people might scream for harsh sentences for murder and violent crimes, this often isn't the case for a white collar conviction.

The judges who hear these cases have to be careful to balance the seriousness of the charge with the penalties. Federal judges have a wide berth to choose sentences they feel are best for the case. Even when they do hand down what they feel is just, there is a chance that it will be appealed.

Top errors to avoid when facing an OMIG audit

If you are a Medicaid provider in New York, you will likely face at least one audit by the Office of the Medicaid Inspector General. Unlike a targeted investigation, an audit does not necessarily mean you are under suspicion for fraud. However, a routine audit does have the potential of giving rise to more serious problems, especially when providers fail to approach the audit correctly.

An OMIG audit usually begins with an audit engagement letter, which should also explain the focus of the audit. Most audits scrutinize your compliance plan (if you fall into the category of providers who must have one by law), Medicaid rate reimbursements or past claims that have been paid to you.

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