Forgery is the creation or possession of a document that is not what it seems to be. For instance, if you were in possession of a passport that was not issued by the government, then you could be brought up on forgery charges. The severity of a forgery charge can range from a misdemeanor to a felony but they should never be taken lightly. If you have been charged with forgery then you need to contact one of our criminal defense attorneys immediately to protect your interests.
The four degrees of Forgery:
- First degree – When someone commits second-degree forgery and then puts the writing to use or offers it to someone else. So, a person that printed counterfeit money would be committing second-degree forgery but if they bought something with the counterfeit money then it would qualify for first-degree.
- Second Degree – When a person makes, alters or possesses any forged writing other than a check. This can include anything from money and coins to badges and trademarks.
- Third Degree – Includes making, altering, possessing or passing off a forged check written for 1,500 or more. If you have more than 10 forged blank checks then it will also qualify.
- Fourth Degree – When a person makes, alters, possesses or passes off a check made out for less than 1,500 or possesses less than 10 counterfeit blank checks.
Punishment for forgery will differ greatly depending on which degree you are charged with. If you are charged with first-degree forgery then you could be facing anywhere from one to fifteen years in jail. Second and third-degree forgery will usually result in one to five years in jail and fourth-degree is considered to be a misdemeanor unless you have prior convictions. Then it can carry a one to five-year jail sentence.