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Second Degree Criminal Possession of a Forged Instrument

February 4, 2019

In New York, Second Degree Criminal Possession of a Forged Instrument is a serious crime that may have significant consequences. If you have been charged with this offense, then you should understand your rights and be aware of defenses that may be available. A criminal defense attorney can provide legal advice and representation to assist you in dealing with these charges.

What is Second Degree Criminal Possession of a Forged Instrument?
According to the New York Penal law, a person may be charged with Second Degree Criminal Possession of a Forged Instrument when you have knowledge that a document is forged and you have the intent to defraud, injure or deceive another. Also if you possesses a forged

The “instruments” defined in that code section include:

  • Documents such as a deed, last will and testament, contract, commercial instrument, credit card, or other document that involves a legal right or interest;
  • A public record document or other document that is required/authorized to be filed with a public office;
  • An official document from a public office or governmental agency;
  • Documents or tangible items used in place of money for property or services; or
  • A prescription from a physician or other person authorized to issue prescriptions for a drug.

What are the potential penalties for Second Degree Criminal Possession of a Forged Instrument?
Second Degree Criminal Possession is a Class D felony. A conviction of this crime may result in up to 7 years in prison. There may also be financial penalties, probation, community service and orders for restitution.

A felony conviction create issues with your employment and may result in limitations on certain civil rights. Because of these and the other potential penalties, you should have legal representation to advocate on your behalf.

Are there any defenses?
In a Second Degree Criminal Possession of a Forged Instrument case, there may be defenses available to challenge the charge or give cause for a reduction in the sentence. To receive a conviction, the prosecution must be able to prove each of the elements of the crime beyond a reasonable doubt. If this cannot be done, then you should be acquitted.

For example, if the evidence is insufficient to show that you lacked knowledge that the document was forged, then you should not be found guilty. Also, if you did not intend to defraud someone, then you likewise should be acquitted.

If the evidence for your case was obtained in violation of your rights, then you may also have a defense to suppress the admission of that evidence at trial.

In addition to these defenses, there are certain presumptions in Second Degree Criminal Possession of a Forged Instrument cases that may be explored to challenge your charges.

How can a criminal defense lawyer help?
Because Second Degree Criminal Possession of a Forged Instrument cases are complex and involve interpretation of laws, rules and procedures, it can be overwhelming and difficult to represent yourself. A lawyer will have experience with these types of cases and can provide you legal advice to help you understand your options.

A criminal defense lawyer can represent you in court. They will negotiate with the prosecution to try to obtain a just result. In court, an attorney can make argument on your behalf, cross examine witnesses, raise objections and advocate for your rights.

A criminal defense attorney will help you assess the strengths and weaknesses of your case. This will allow you have have realistic expectations and to develop a strategy.

If you have been charged with Second Degree Criminal Possession of a Forged Instrument, then contact us to schedule a consultation.



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