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If you are found to be in possession of a device that has been or can be used to create forged documents, or one made with the intention to forge documents, then you could be charged with a felony. It is important to be well informed and to learn your options if you charged with possession.
Penal Law 200: Criminal Possession of a Forgery Device
A forgery device or a forged instrument is one that has been made under pretenses or has been altered. You may be found guilty of this crime under the following circumstances:
• If you made the forgery device or equipment knowing its intended use of forgery.
• If you possess the forgery device or equipment knowing that it will or could be used for forgery purposes.
• If you possess or make a forgery device with the intent to use it yourself for forgery purposes.
If you are found making a forgery device, using it, possessing it in your premises, delivering it or even having it delivered to you, then you could be charged.
Penalties for Criminal Possession of a Forgery Device
Criminal Possession of a Forgery Device is a class D felony. It is punishable both at state and federal level. Examples of forgery include faking a doctor’s note, signing another person’s check, counterfeiting (forging currency), forging an academic certificate or transcript, and faking a doctor’s recommendation.
In order for the above instances to count as forgery, the documents should have several characteristics. First of all, whatever is written in the forged document should be false. The forged document should include content that is not true. They should also be legally significant, that is, they should be issued by the government or must be legal documents.
The different types of forgery devices include photo-reproduction machines, stamps commonly used in legal and government documents, credit card duplication machines, signature copy equipment, and equipment that tint and age documents to make them seem real. These devices can be used to create forged driver’s license, credit cards, debit cards, checks, title deeds, birth certificates, diplomas and transcripts, works of art, passports, social security cards, contracts and immigration papers.
There are various penalties for Criminal Possession of a Forgery Device charges such as jail /prison time, fines, paying back any money lost as a result of the forgery, and probation. The penalty given depends on whether the person committed several offenses at once, whether they have had previous criminal charges filed against them and the amount of money gained or lost as a result of the possession of the forgery device. The maximum penalty includes 15 years in prison and a fine of $5,000. The fine you are charged with depends on the amount of money you made from the possession of the forgery device. Identity theft is a type of forgery where a person’s personal documents such as their debit or credit card are forged and criminally used. This is punishable by the federal government.
Defenses for the Crime
Your Philadelphia criminal lawyer may defend you against possession charges by proving you were not aware that the device could be used for forgery. For example, your friend might have asked you to keep the device for them and lied about the purpose of the device. If the device was delivered to your roommate and was intercepted by the authorities and you received it on their behalf, this is another possible defense. According to New York laws, there has to be knowledge about the purpose of the device and intent to use it for fraudulent purposes. If your criminal lawyer can disprove the existence of one or both of these requirements, then they will use this as your defense.
How Can an Attorney Help You?
Getting an attorney to handle your case as soon as possible is important because they will be able to conduct investigations into your case early on and build a solid and credible defense.