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Forgery in the First Degree

The top and most severe offense in the realm of New York Forgery crimes is without a question Forgery in the First Degree. This “D” felony Forgery crime has an accompanying sentence that far exceeds both Forgery in the Second and Forgery in the Third Degree. No record? No criminal history? No prior arrests in New York or elsewhere? In the eyes of the law it makes no difference. You can still face as many as 15 years in a New York State prison. Even though New York Penal Law 170.15 has many similar characteristics as the other two Forgery offenses, there are very distinct elements that differentiate the crimes.

The Basics of First Degree Forgery

You are guilty of First Degree Forgery, NY PL 170.15, or any degree of Forgery, if you have the intent to defraud or deceive another person and you falsely make, complete or alter a written instrument. What is needed to set the different degrees of Forgery in New York apart is that the written instrument must purport to be or represent if completed:

  1. Part of an issue of money, stamps, securities or other valuables; or
  2. Part of an issue of stock, bonds, or other instruments representing interests in or claims against a corporate or other organization or its property.

Although it is not the only type or kind of First Degree Forgery seen by criminal lawyers and Forgery defense attorneys in New York, falsifying or creating of United States Currency is one of the more typical ways this crime is committed.

Defenses to First Degree Forgery

As stated on the New York Forgery Information page as well as the pages dedicated to each degree of Forgery in New York, there is no one defense that covers every case. How can prosecutors establish intent to defraud as opposed to an intent to do something else? How can prosecutors establish or prove you are the person who forged the written instrument in question? Simply, there may be viable defense and those you may choose not to pursue. Regardless, you cannot make that determination or you will make a wrong decision that you may not be able to withdraw if you do not fully analyze the evidence against you with a criminal lawyer.

Additional Forgery Resources:

If nothing else, do not hesitate to exercise your rights. Remember, you always have the right to remain silent and request your attorney when questioned by the police. Your admission or apology could be the evidence prosecutors and Assistant District Attorneys need to move forward with the full force of the law.

Call the New York City Forgery Defense Lawyer and former Assistant District Attorneys at (212) 312-7129 or contact us online today.

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