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What Are the Penalties for Check Forgery in New York?

Check forgery is a type of fraud, and for that reason, New York State takes it quite seriously. You can be charged with a felony for altering checks or possessing one that has been forged or altered in some way. Punishments include hefty fines and prison terms that can last for years. If you are facing these charges, it is in your best interest to contact a Clarkstown criminal defense attorney who can help you defend yourself.

What Exactly is Check Forgery?

There are many types of fraud charges that can involve checks. Check forgery concerns those situations in which someone knowingly signs someone else’s name on a check or uses their account for personal gain.

You can also be charged with possession of a forged instrument. Even just having a fake or altered check can result in harsh penalties. You do not have to have cashed it yet or made some kind of monetary gain. Having it in your possession is enough.

Can I Go to Jail?

Yes, people can and do often go to jail for this crime. This is because check forgery is frequently charged as a Class D felony. If you are signing checks from someone else’s account, you can also be charged with identity theft, another felony that can compound your punishment.

The exact penalty for check forgery can vary based on the amount of money stolen, but just about any check forgery charge is going to carry harsh penalties. Charges can result in:

  • Jail time of up to 25 years
  • Fines of up to $5,000 or double the offender’s gain

These are not the types of consequences that you want to be facing down alone. Seeking out the help of a defense attorney with experience fighting check forgery charges is the smart option.

Are There Other Consequences for This Crime?

Check forgery is fraud. Even after your jail sentence is finished or fines are paid, you could continue to face personal and professional issues because of this charge.

It will now be on the record that you defrauded somebody. Employers can see that. Friends and family members will know about that. This can affect whether or not they trust you. This is why you need to fight such a charge with all of the resources that you can muster.

How Can I Defend Myself Against This Charge?

Our lawyers will look at the facts of your case and develop the best possible defense. Some common arguments include:

  • You had no intent to defraud anyone
  • The signed document was “insignificant”
  • You are someone’s caretaker or have power of attorney and there was a misunderstanding

Contact a Rockland Defense Attorney

So if you have been charged with check forgery or criminal possession of a forged instrument, you do not have to fight back on your own. Contact the Law Office of Kevin T. Conway and learn more about how we can help you avoid heavy fines and long jail sentences.

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