Forgery offenses are almost always felony-level crimes, thus carry many consequences that include jail or prison. We often think of Forgery within the context of someone signing someone else’s name or otherwise altering a document, (often a check) with the intent to defraud. However, Forgeries may pertain to writings or to objects such as an official seal, or a membership card. New York law defines many actions as Forgeries. For example, using a forged document may be considered Forgery. The same may be true for placing a misleading identifying label upon something, or for possessing a forged document, or even by mutilating or destroying a document. Knowingly offering or presenting a forged document is also a crime, whether or not the document was actually accepted. Punishments for Forgery Crimes depend on things such as what the forged thing is, who the victim is, why the thing was forged, and, for checks, the value of the thing that was sought to be obtained. The value of forged checks may be “aggregated” (added together) within a certain time period in order to fall under a harsher subdivision of the statute. Forgery is also a federal crime that carries severe penalties.
If you are accused of Forgery, you need an experienced attorney that can put the Government to their proof and/or present a persuasive explanation of why you are not guilty. Mitchell C. Elman can handle Forgery cases successfully, saving clients from incarceration and preventing them from losing their jobs. We welcome your call for questions or further discussion.