First Degree Criminal Possession of a Forged Instrument
Criminal Possession of a Forged Instrument in the First Degree is unequivocally the most serious and dangerous Forged Instrument crime that you can face in New York. In fact, if you are investigated or arrested for this First Degree Criminal Possession of a Forged Instrument, don't be surprised if you not only receive a knock on the door from the police, but the Secret Service as well. Pursuant to New York Penal Law 170.30, First Degree Criminal Possession of a Forged Instrument is a "C" felony that could land you in prison for as much as fifteen years as a first time offender. Any Forged Instrument, Forgery or fraud related crime in New York calls out for guidance and counsel of an experienced New York criminal lawyer, but NY PL 170.30 should be on the top of that list.
- Criminal Possession of a Forged Instrument Information Page
- Third Degree Criminal Possession of a Forged Instrument: NY PL 170.20
- Second Degree Criminal Possession of a Forged Instrument: NY PL 170.25
Like each of the lower degree crimes of Criminal Possession of a Forged Instrument, New York Penal Law 170.30 is founded in the same principles. First, you must possess and instrument that you know to be forged (falsely created, changed, altered, etc.) and you must possess that instrument with the intent to deceive or defraud another. What distinguishes Criminal Possessed in the First Degree from the lesser felony and misdemeanor crimes is the type of instrument. As your criminal attorney should be able to explain, NY PL 170.30 involves instruments that purport to be money, stamps, securities or any valuable instrument issued by the government or a governmental instrumentality. Alternatively, if the item is calculated to be an issue of stock, bonds or other instrument representing interest in or claims against a corporate or other organization or its property, then the instrument satisfies the requirements of First Degree Criminal Possession of a Forged Instrument.
While there is no pre-determined guide as to how allegations in a First Degree Criminal Possession of a Forged Instrument arrest, investigation or indictment unfolds, there are two very general manifestations criminal lawyers and Forged Instrument attorneys see. The first of these is not as serious and often involves a person with some counterfeit or fake money, currency or cash on his or her person. In these cases, depending on the amount of fraudulent or counterfeit money recovered, there is no proof of a greater scheme (trying to pass or use this money certainly can change this). The second avenue that results in a prosecution for NY PL 170.30 involves larger schemes and may even include search warrants, wiretaps and RICO type cases. In these matters, you may be charged with many other felonies including, but not limited to:
- Forgery: New York Penal Law Article 170
- Grand Larceny: New York Penal Law Article 155
- Criminal Possession of Stolen Property: New York Penal Law Article 165
- Identity Theft: New York Penal Law Article 190
- Falsifying Business Records: New York Penal Law Article 175
- Offering a False Instrument for Filing: New York Penal Law Article 175
- Enterprise Corruption New York Penal Law Article 460
There is no “one size fits all” defense for an allegation of First Degree Criminal Possession of a Forged Instrument in the First Degree that works in each and every case. If you want to put yourself in the best position to avoid prison or a felony record, educate yourself on the law and consult with an experienced New York criminal defense lawyer who can examine your case, identify potential defenses and set those defenses into motion.
Whether there is a procedural, evidentiary, factual or mitigation defense, the New York criminal defense attorneys and former Manhattan prosecutors at Crotty Saland PC have the real world knowledge and experience to assist you in fighting the allegations of fraud. Felony arrests of this magnitude do not just disappear by themselves. Conviction is forever. Start your defense now.
Call our criminal lawyers and former Manhattan prosecutors at (212) 312-7129 or contact us online today.