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Elements of Criminal Possession of a Forged Instrument30 Jan 2019

Across all the countries in the globe, cases on possession of forged instruments are always handled as a serious crime. The cases are always categorized into three forms of intentions including defrauding, injuring another person and deceiving. In either of the intentions, the case is always handled as a misdemeanor. Many people do confuse forgery and possession of a forged instrument to be one, but the two are always treated as separate crimes. In this article, we are going to major more on some of the Elements of Criminal Possession of a Forged Instrument.


Various forms of criminal possession of forged Instruments


Possession of a forged instrument is usually categorized into 3 forms of degrees. In reference to possession of forged instrument the three common categories include;


First degree. Most cases under the possession of forged documents usually fall under this category and involve possession of forged money, government issued securities, bonds, corporate stocks, and stamps.


Second degree. This second degree of possession of forged documents involves possession of forged title deeds, contracts, wills, credit cards, commercial instruments, public records or any material that is required to be filed with a federal agency or an official government documents.


Third degree. This level involves having the possession of any forged written instrument.


Forms of possession of forged instruments


With Knowledge. According to the law on possession of forged instruments there must always be a prove of possessing the forged instrument with knowledge that it was forged. In this case, anyone who possesses a forged instrument unwittingly can never be regarded to have violated the law.


How charges on possession of the forged instrument are punished


Punishment on the possession of a forged instrument is always different depending on the degree of the crime charged against the offender. If found guilty and get convicted over the charges, the punishment in most of the countries is usually as explained below.


Punishment in the first degree. Charges on this degree are usually categorized as Class C. The possible charges if found guilty is usually imprisonment of at least five years but should never exceed ten years.


Punishment in the second degree. Individuals found guilty on this category are usually regarded as Class D felony, and the punishment on this level is usually imprisonment of at least one year but not more than five years.


Punishment in the third degree. Charges on this level are regarded as Class A misdemeanor, and the convicted individuals usually face possible imprisonment of at least three months but should never exceed a year.


Defense Strategies against Criminal Possession of a Forged Instrument


If you will at any time find yourself in the arms of the law for claims of possession of forged instruments, there are key things you need to know. To initiate with, the charges are always broken down into three forms to allow the convicted individual to build a defense strategy against their offense. In this case, to be proven guilty or face charges against these convictions, there are three things that the prosecutors must provide proof of. Among them include knowledge that the instrument was forged, prove that you hold the instrument with intent to defraud, injure another or deceive and thirdly a prove that you uttered the possession of a forged instrument.


If the prosecutor fails to give a proof of the three things behind bars, then they can never get any right to put you behind bars. This measure has been kept in place since forged instruments can easily go through the hands of many people before someone realizes that it was fake. In other cases, the person may have been charged for being in the wrong place at the wrong time. On the same note, the most appropriate defense strategy for your case will usually depend on the specific facts you provide for your case.




As we have seen from the review above, charges on possession of forged instruments can be a complicated one. In this case, it requires the help of a qualified and highly skilled attorney to help you work through the case. Defense attorneys specializing with these cases are usually aware of exactly what the prosecutors are up to, and therefore you can be sure of them creating a story that will prove your innocence from the charges.

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