How serious is a forgery charge?

How serious is a forgery charge?

Although forgery is considered under the umbrella of fraud charges, many people are under the impression that it is a minor charge and not really anything to worry about. Having this perception can be a big mistake.

Any person who knowingly possesses or creates a forged document or instrument that confers either liability or value could be accused and possibly found guilty of forgery charges. This specific crime is considered a misdemeanor, punishable by up to a year in jail.  Therefore, it  warrants the involvement of an experienced New York criminal defense attorney.

A written instrument broadly means any kind of printed material, computer program or data, tokens, or currency that is used to convey pieces of information or as proof of some kind of value. This is a very broad definition of forgery, and the potentially broad application of this definition should be considered by you and your attorney if you have been charged.

Forgery can, in certain circumstances, also be charged as a felony. This relates to situations involving  counterfeit documents like contracts, credit cards, deeds, wills, public records, certificates of transfer or other items designated for use instead of money, and any official instrument that would be created or used by a government employee.

Of course, felony charges are much more serious and have stricter penalties associated with them. You could be looking at prison time and fines if you have been accused of felony forgery. Your defense to these charges should be crafted early, and you should be informed of all possible steps to be taken by your attorney, so you know what to expect. Being accused of forgery is not a minor matter, and you should take it seriously by hiring someone right away. If you have been accused of forgery or another fraud-related charge, then contact the Law Offices of Julie Rendelman, LLC. Ms. Rendelman has over 20 years of experience as both a prosecutor and a criminal defense attorney. She has a conveniently-located Midtown Manhattan office. Call 212-951-1232 for a consultation or visit to learn more about our firm.