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Understanding a Forgery Offense

In films featuring spies like James Bond, forgery happens frequently to the delight of the audience. In the real world, people charged with forgery get no applause. In fact, forgery is a serious allegation and one that can land someone in prison for many years. For that reason, every person accused of forgery should seek help from a criminal defense attorney to plan how to respond to the charges.

What is a Forgery Offense?

Forgery involves manipulating a document or object or signing someone else’s name without permission. For instance, signing someone else’s name to a check can result in a charge of forgery. Falsely signing a check is a frequent type of forgery. Yet, it is hardly the only example of forgery. Forgery can also involve creating a replica of something and trying to sell it as an original, or constructing a will to pass off as authentic.

Is Identity Theft Forgery?

Many states are currently examining how to categorize identity theft. Some lawmakers suggest that certain elements of identity theft fall under the purview of forgery. Therefore, a person who has been accused of identity theft may also be charged with forgery, depending upon the extent of the allegations.

How Does the Law Determine Forgery?

As with all crimes, forgery is treated very specifically by laws. To be guilty of forgery in New Jersey, the accused must have forged something knowingly and with the intent to deceive. Basically, this means that the person knew that what they were doing was illegal and could potentially get them in legal trouble.

What is the New Jersey Penalty for Forgery?

New Jersey has a range of forgery offenses. For example, trying to pass off a forged copy of a retail receipt falls under the category of disorderly conduct. On the other hand, forgery of a securities document is a third-degree forgery. Consequently, the punishment for being convicted of forgery in New Jersey can include a fine of up to hundreds of dollars, as well as up to 10 years in prison. Not only can a false conviction cost an individual time and money, but it can change the trajectory of the convicted person’s life.

Why Hire a Criminal Defense Lawyer?

Anyone who has been charged with forgery should take the time to choose a criminal defense attorney with experience working with others who have been accused of this crime. Common forgery defenses may include no intent to harm or consent from someone else. Nonetheless, proving innocence takes time, and an experienced criminal attorney can ease the process of navigating the courts.

South Jersey Criminal Defense Lawyers at the Law Offices of Agre & St. John Help Those Accused of Forgery

If you were accused of and charged with forgery in New Jersey, contact the South Jersey criminal defense lawyers at the Law Offices of Agre & St. John. To schedule an initial consultation, call us at 856-428-7797 or fill an online form. Located in Haddonfield, New Jersey, we serve clients throughout South Jersey, including Camden County, Salem County, Burlington County, and Gloucester County.

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