Under New Jersey law, a charge of forgery can be brought if a document belonging to someone else is altered without that person’s permission or if a document is created in the name of a person that doesn’t exist, i.e. a fictitious person.
Forgery is a crime in the third degree if the writing is related to the fictitious creation of money, postage stamps or an issuance from the government. If it involves a check, it is a crime in the third degree. If the forgery involves more than 15 universal product code labels or forged sales receipts, it is also a crime in the third degree.
Possession of forgery devices is a crime in the third degree. This category includes having computer devices, software or other equipment that can be used to commit forgery. A person charged with these types of crimes encompassing forgery can be subject to significant fines reaching thousands of dollars and face up to five years in prison. Having the equipment to make or making a fraudulent government identification such as a driver’s license or social security card is a second degree crime and can lead to ten years in prison.
How is Forgery Determined and Prosecuted?
To prosecute a person for forgery under N.J.S.A. 2C:21-1, it must be proved by the State that the defendant committed the act with the intention of injuring or defrauding another person or that he or she was acting to aid in the injury or defrauding of a third person. For example, knowingly cashing a check that had been forged can be seen as proof of culpability in another person’s forgery. It is not necessary for the prosecution to prove that another person was injured as a result of the forgery to prosecute and convict a person for forgery.
Writing on behalf of another without permission or altering another’s writing without the consent of that person constitutes forgery. It is considered a forged document if it is put forth in one of the five following methods: transferred; issued; provided as authentication; executed; or completed on behalf of another. If it is uttered—stated through speaking that the documents are legitimate—it is also known as forgery.
Contact an Attorney for Defense of a Forgery Charge
The long-term consequences of a conviction for forgery can be wide-ranging and costly. It’s not simply a matter of paying the fines and maybe winding up in jail, but also the mark on a person’s record for having been arrested for committing forgery can influence the rest of his or her life in a multitude of ways. The conviction can show up on background checks and prevent the individual from getting a number of jobs, being allowed to enter the military and getting into schools.
If you have been arrested, charged and are being prosecuted for forgery in Ocean County, Monmouth County or any location in New Jersey, it’s important to have proper legal counsel to protect your rights and interests. The lawyers of Villani & DeLuca in Point Pleasant Beach, New Jersey can help you with navigating the difficult road of a forgery charge. Contact Villani & DeLuca to discuss your case today.