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Second Degree Falsifying Business Records: NY PL 175.05

An "A" misdemeanor punishable by up to one year in jail, Falsifying Business Records in the Second Degree, New York Penal Law 175.05, is a crime that usually involves the destruction or alteration of a business record. Although not a felony, PL 170.05 is a misdemeanor crime that will never be expunged from your criminal record upon conviction. While there are numerous theories and subsections of Falsifying Business Records in the Second Degree, irrespective of the section you are charged with, the penalty upon conviction is the same. Although best examined with your criminal defense attorney, this White Collar crime is broken down into four distinct sections.

Second Degree Falsifying Business Records: Definitions and Elements

Penal Law 175.05(1)

You are guilty of this subsection if, with the intent to defraud, you make, or even cause through other means, a false entry in an enterprise's business records.

Penal Law 175.05(2)

You have committed a crime in violation of subsection two if, with the intent to defraud, you erase, delete and destroy through other means, the true entry in an enterprise's business records.

Penal Law 175.05(3)

You are guilty of the third subsection of this misdemeanor offense if, with the intent to defraud, you omit or fail to make a true entry into the business record of an enterprise and you know you have a duty by law or by the nature of your position to make the entry.

Penal Law 175.05(4)

The last section of this crime that you can possibly run afoul of and face prosecution is where, again, with the intent to defraud, you cause an omission or prevent the making of a true entry in an enterprise's business records.

Affirmative Defense to Penal Law 175.05

As noted on Falsifying Business Records general information page, an affirmative defense exists to this crime if you were an employee who, without any personal benefit, acted in such a manner at the direction of a supervisor. This affirmative defense codified under NY PL 175.15. It is also important to understand that if you commit this crime while perpetrating or covering up another crime, the District Attorney where the crime is alleged to have occurred can charge the more serious felony First Degree offense.

Second Degree Falsifying Business Records: Penalty and Punishment

If convicted of any class "A" misdemeanor, you face up to one year in a county jail. In NYC this jail is Rikers Island. Even if you avoid one day, one month or one year in custody, a judge can sentence you to probation, community service or even fine you for your infractions.

Second Degree Falsifying Business Records: Examples

Although there are numerous potential subsections that prosecutors can pursue, an easy scenario to understand is where you attempt to cover up a mistake you made at work and you delete or alter when you received certain payment or monies for goods or services. Whether in a computer database or on a written ledger is of no consequence. Keep in mind, however, if you are covering up for stealing those monies, a crime of either Petit Larceny or Grand Larceny, then you have potentially and very likely committed felony Falsifying Business Records as opposed to this misdemeanor crime.

Your Criminal Case: Your Criminal Defense

As New York white collar criminal defense lawyers and former New York County Assistant District Attorneys spearheading and leading investigations into and prosecutions of frauds involving this offense as well as Forgery, Grand Larceny and related crimes, the legal counsel at Saland Law understand the magnitude of a White Collar accusation, arrest and conviction. Armed with years of experience and knowledge on both sides of the law, Saland Law's advocacy in your time of need is second to none.

To better understand White Collar crimes and mount your strongest defense, review the New York White Collar Crime section of Saland Law's website. Additional information, including legal decisions, criminal statutes and cases in the news, can be found on the New York Criminal Lawyer Blog.

Call us at (212) 312-7129 or contact us online today to discuss your case and possible defenses.

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