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Forgery in the Third Degree

Fraudulently sign a receipt in someone else’s name for a $20.00 item at CVS or Duane Reade? You may be guilty of Third Degree Forgery. Scratch out your date of birth on your drivers license? You may be guilty of Forgery in the Third Degree. Alter your grades in a transcript for a job? You may be guilty of New York Penal Law 170.05. In fact, not only may you be guilty of Third Degree Forgery if you alter or create any written instrument, you may be guilty of a more serious felony offense depending on the type of instrument you are alleged to have forged.

According to the New York Penal Law, you are guilty of NY PL 170.05 if and when you have the intent to defraud, deceive or injure another person, you falsely make, complete or alter a written instrument. Although all of these elements are addressed on Saland Law’s New York Forgery Information page, because of the nature of this crime and each of the elements that compose it, it is crucial to fully scrutinize the allegations and your conduct to see if it fits within the scope of the criminal law.

Applicable to all degrees of Forgery as well as Criminal Possession of a Forged Instrument, it is important to examine how the prosecution intends to prove or has evidence of your “intent to defraud.” Who do the police claim you were intending to defraud or deceive? How was switching a name or number on a form proof of this intent? Beyond this piece, is the item you are alleged to have forged a “written instrument” in the eyes of the law. For example, while it may be a crime to make a fake dollar bill or NYS Drivers License, can the same be said if either one of those are so obviously fake that they would not fool a teenager? Alternatively, can you be guilty of Forgery for making or creating a fake form of identification for a country, state or municipality that doesn’t even exist? Even beyond these questions, how can law enforcement prove you were the one who actually committed the alleged Forgery as opposed to merely possessing the written instrument after the fact?

Additional Forgery Resources:

Because a lot is on the line in terms of what criminal record you may have going forward in life and whether or not you will be sentenced to a year in jail if convicted of Third Degree Forgery, the sooner you implement your defense the better off you will likely be. Educate yourself on the New York Penal Law. Understand the practical application of NY PL 170.05 in the New York courts. Review Saland Law’s and Forgery Information page. Protect yourself now to protect your future tomorrow.

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

Client Reviews
... I was facing a class B felony and potentially tens of thousands in fines and some legit jail time and after hiring Jeremy Saland he obviously struck enough fear into the prosecutors with his sheer litigation might that it was knocked down to a petty misdemeanor and after a few sheckles and a handful of counseling sessions, I will no longer have a criminal record. The offices of Saland Law are the Shaq and Kobe of criminal defense in New York City and to even consider another firm is outright blasphemy. I stand by this statement 100% Evan
Let me start by saying how amazing Liz Crotty is! I am a resident of California, who needed representation for my son who received a desk citation while he was visiting NYC. Liz jumped on the case right away; she was very thorough in explaining things to me. She is strictly business too! She went to court on my son's behalf and had his case dismissed. I am forever grateful to her. Seana G.
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