First Degree Tampering With Public Records
Outside of those crimes involving thefts more than $50,000 or $1 million, there are few more serious white collar crimes prosecuted in New York than Tampering with Public Records in the First Degree pursuant to New York Penal Law 175.25. Simply put, the prosecutors handing your case or the judge that you appear before after your arrest or indictment for NY PL 175.25 will make it painfully obvious. White collar fraud crimes involving the state or government will be handled firmly and harshly. In fact, if it has not happened already, your New York criminal lawyer should explain how this crime may be prosecuted in conjunction with other equally serious offenses.
Whether you work for the MTA, DMV or some other governmental agency, a requirement of this offense, unlike Falsifying Business Records for example, is that whatever paperwork that was altered was also filed with a public agency. Whether these instruments were time sheets, work orders, or some other materials, if you are convicted of Tampering with Public Records in the First Degree and you have no prior involvement with law enforcement whatsoever, you will face a sentence of up to seven years in state prison.
Briefly, you are guilty of First Degree Tampering with Public Records if you know that you do not have the authority to remove, conceal, destroy or make a false entry into a record or other written instrument filed with a public office, you do so with the intent to defraud.
- Tampering with Public Records General Information Page
- Second Degree Tampering with Public Records: NY PL 175.20
The critical component of this crime that differentiates First Degree Tampering with Public Records from the misdemeanor Second Degree Tampering with Public Records is that you must possess an intent to defraud. Although this element is something you must discuss and vet with your criminal attorney, legal decisions have interpreted “intent to defraud” very broadly and have made it clear that money or property need not be the basis or ultimate goal of your acts. Intent to defraud may be established by merely leading another into error. Whether or not your intent included this extra requirement can make the difference between a manageable disposition or an extensive period of time in prison. Either way, the gravity and ramifications of your actions can not only impact your future, but devastate the same of your family.
Protect your rights today and your future well beyond tomorrow. Contact the New York criminal lawyers and former Manhattan prosecutors at Saland Law to identify and implement the right defense for you.
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