What Are The Two Degrees For Falsifying Business Records?

Aug 03 2022

The New York penal code list two degrees for the crime of falsifying business records. One is a class A misdemeanor, and the other is a class E felony.

What are the differences between the two and what sort of defense can someone accused of this crime expect?

Second-degree (misdemeanor)

With an intent to defraud, someone may commit falsifying business records in the second degree if the person:

  • made a false entry in company records
  • altered, erased, deleted or otherwise destroyed an entry in the business records
  • violated a duty to make a true entry in the business records
  • prevented or omitted the making of a true entry in the business records

First-degree (felony)

The crime of falsifying business records rises to a first-degree level and becomes a felony if a person committed any of the above acts with an intent to defraud in order to hide another crime.


As noted in the New York Penal Code, Section 175.05, someone convicted of falsifying business records can expect a sentence of up to one year in jail if a class A misdemeanor. If the crime is a class E felony, the maximum time behind bars is one and one-third to four years.

Not guilty

If the person accused of falsifying business records is an employee acting on the order of a superior and there was no personal gain involved, the person should expect to be acquitted of wrongdoing in a court of law. He or she can rely on an attorney to build a defense strategy that results in the best outcome possible.

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