If you are a New York City resident, you may be accused of forgery if there is enough evidence to back it up. However, it is that evidence that tends to be challenged by defense counsel as the debate of what really counts as forgery continues. The following includes further information on what forgery is and the types of charges that are connected to it.
Forgery laws in New York
New York has its own laws regarding white-collar crimes such as forgery and the charges associated with them. The degree of forgery will increase based on the severity of the crime. For example, those charged with first-degree forgery are likely to have been accused of knowingly committing forgery against valuable instruments issued by the government. These could involve items such as securities, money, and stamps. Since it is a Class C felony, a conviction could lead to a 15-year prison sentence.
What counts as forgery?
If you are accused of forgery, it’s likely that the prosecutors believe that you had the intention to alter financial documents. For example, making an exact copy of a piece of artwork and attempting to sell it as the original print is classified as committing forgery. However, mistakes do happen, and thus an innocent person could easily find themselves accused of forgery.
However, forgery is classified as a crime of intent. Although it can be difficult for a prosecutor to find intent, it is certainly not impossible. That is why it is so important to meet with an attorney as soon as possible after you have been charged so that you can explain your situation and learn what defense strategies might be available.