The crime of possessing a forged instrument is taken very seriously in the state of New York. Criminal Possessing a forged instrument means having a document that has been altered, changed, or counterfeited with the intent to deceive or defraud. A forged instrument can be a check, money order, contract, or any other type of legal document. Depending on the nature of the document and the intent of the possessor, the crime can be classified as either a misdemeanor or a felony. In this article, Eastcoastlaws.com will discuss the details of the crime of First Degree Criminal Possession of a Forged Instrument in New York, including the elements of the offense, the penalties, and the possible defenses.
The “counterfeit money” provision, Criminal Possession of a Forged Instrument in the First Degree, is without a doubt the most serious and dangerous offense under New York’s Forged Instrument laws. Don’t be shocked if the Secret Service as well as the police, such as the NYPD, knock on your house if you are under investigation or arrested for this offense.
New York Penal Code 170.30 necessitates your rapid attention and response due to this, the permanent nature of a conviction, and the probable term of imprisonment. Fortunately, if you follow the suggestions and advice of your White Collar Fraud Attorney, you may be able to obtain a downward departure to a lesser charge, avoid jail time, and even keep your good reputation.
Understanding Criminal Possession Of A Forged Instrument
The fundamental components of NY Penal Code 170.30 and the other degrees of Criminal Possession of a Forged Instrument are the same. You must first have an instrument in your possession that you are aware is a fake, whether it was made in error, changed, altered, etc. Second, you need to have it with the intention of misleading or tricking someone else. The type of thing or item is what sets the First Degree offense apart from the lower felonies and misdemeanors.
The fabricated object must therefore pretend to be money, stamps, securities, or any other valuable instrument issued by the government or a government agency, as opposed to a credit card, passport, will, deed, or whatever else that generates a legal right, for example. A fake issuance of stock, bonds, or other documents reflecting an interest in or claim against a corporation can also be made by contraband.
Penalties For First Degree Criminal Possession Of A Forged Instrument
First Degree Criminal Possession of a Forged Instrument is a class “C” felony, thus even while prison may not be required upon conviction, the maximum term ranges from five to fifteen years. If you are found guilty of possessing fake stamps, fake money, or similar offenses, you will not be eligible for a sentence of one year or less in a municipal or county jail like Rikers Island, unlike the lower counts. A judge could impose a minimum sentence of one to three years in jail, but not a “bullet” sentence of one year or less.
Probation, community service, fines, and conditional discharge are among the more acceptable penalties. Keep in mind that you will have a permanent record regardless of the lesser offense you plead to, barring a violation or some other type of dismissal.
Defending Against First Degree Criminal Possession Charges
Putting aside the “standard” defenses, if there is such a thing, your attorney’s line of attack on the District Attorney’s case will probably include examining how the NYPD or police officers recovered counterfeit items, contesting the basis on which the prosecution intends to show your knowledge of whatever you had was fictitious, arguing you lacked the intent to defraud, and even requesting the suppression of any statement or admission you are alleged to have made.
More precisely, in relation to these considerations, would you have given a clerk a fake $100 bill if you had one? Was it amidst a number of notes with the same denomination? Was it so obviously false that no sane person could think you wanted to tick off another person, or was it such a brilliant copy that you were the victim and maybe duped? When and where did you obtain the money, and have you made any recognition or apology that suggests an admission?
Whichever defense you choose, choosing the best approach to make it effective as early in the process as feasible is secondary to hiring the best attorney to safeguard your rights.
Examples Of First Degree Criminal Possession Cases
Investigations, arrests, and trials frequently take one of two forms, however, there is no set script for how these cases will turn out. The first of these frequently include someone who has some counterfeit money on them. There is no evidence of a larger plot in these cases, regardless of the number of fake dollars found on the accused or during the transaction. Even if you have strong defenses, the investigation may finish here, and the prosecution is quite simple.
The second interpretation of these prosecutions by defense attorneys entails grander conspiracies that may even entail wiretaps, wiretap wiretaps, search warrants, and RICO-style suits. Enterprise Corruption may be more concerning in these situations, whether it involves money, stamps, or something else because it is thought that you are a member or the leader of a group that is doing these and other acts on a much bigger scale.
Associated Crimes And Offenses
Other than forgery, grand larceny, criminal possession of the stolen property, and enterprise corruption—if there is a larger plot and organization—are the White Collar Crimes most frequently linked to First Degree of Criminal Possession of a Forged Document. Each of these felonies carries a sentence that can range from a class “E” (four years maximum) to a class “B” (up to 25 years “Upstate”.
Hiring A New York Lawyer For First Degree Criminal Possession Cases
If you are facing first degree criminal possession charges in New York, it is important to hire a qualified and experienced criminal defense lawyer to represent you. Here are some steps you can take to find the right lawyer for your case:
- Do your research: Look for criminal defense lawyers in New York who have experience handling first degree criminal possession cases. You can start your search by looking online or by asking for referrals from friends or family members who have had a positive experience with a criminal defense lawyer.
- Schedule a consultation: Once you have identified potential lawyers, schedule a consultation with each of them to discuss your case. During the consultation, you can ask questions about their experience, their approach to your case, and their fees.
- Evaluate the lawyer’s experience: When evaluating a lawyer’s experience, consider factors such as their years of experience practicing law, their success rate in defending clients against first degree criminal possession charges, and their knowledge of the New York criminal justice system.
- Consider their approach to your case: Each lawyer may have a different approach to defending your case. Some may prefer to negotiate a plea bargain, while others may prefer to go to trial. It’s important to find a lawyer whose approach aligns with your goals and values.
- Evaluate their fees: Hiring a criminal defense lawyer can be expensive, so it’s important to evaluate each lawyer’s fees carefully. Some lawyers may charge a flat fee for their services, while others may charge by the hour. Be sure to ask about any additional costs, such as court fees or expert witness fees.
Overall, the most important factor in choosing a lawyer for a first degree criminal possession case is finding someone with experience and a track record of success in defending clients against similar charges. Take the time to do your research and find a lawyer who you feel confident will represent you well in court.