The Punishments For A Forgery Conviction In New York

Jul 04 2023

Forgery is a severe crime in New York. It involves creating, modifying or endorsing written documents falsely intending to defraud. The act of forging signatures on checks or creating counterfeit identification documents can lead to forgery charges.

The penalties for a forgery conviction in New York vary and hinge on the crime’s degree. The determination of the degree depends on the act’s severity and the kind of document forged.

Degrees of forgery and the penalties

New York law categorizes forgery offenses into three degrees: third, second and first-degree forgery.

  1. Third-degree forgery. This is a misdemeanor and applies when someone forges a written instrument. A conviction of third-degree forgery can lead to a sentence of up to one year in jail. But because this is a misdemeanor, a judge might choose to impose a sentence of probation or a mix of probation and jail time.
  2. Second-degree forgery, This is a class D felony and involves the false making or altering of a document such as a deed, will, contract or public record. A second-degree forgery conviction can lead to a sentence of up to seven years in prison.
  3. First-degree forgery. This is a class C felony. It applies when someone forges part of an issue of currency, stamps, securities or other valuable instruments issued by the government. This is the most serious forgery offense and conviction can lead to a sentence of up to 15 years in prison.

For any of these degrees of forgery, the judge might consider factors such as your criminal history when deciding your sentence.

Beyond legal penalties: The aftermath of a forgery conviction

A forgery conviction can have enduring consequences. Finding employment or housing with a forgery conviction on your record can become challenging.

The consequences of forgery in New York are severe. If you face accusations of forgery, understanding the charges and the potential penalties is vital. Be sure to exercise your rights and take steps to safeguard your future.

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