Generally, if you create or alter a document or other instrument without authorization to defraud another person, you will be charged with forgery. Falsifying a check to exchange it for cash is known as check forgery. Fraud-related offenses such as check forgery carry significant penalties. However, the severity of the penalties will vary depending on the degree of the offense. If you are someone who has been charged with check forgery, it is imperative to act quickly. Keep reading and contact a determined Camden County Criminal Defense Attorney who can help defend your rights and interests.
What is check forgery?
Forgeries in New Jersey are classified as felony offenses. Therefore, if you attempt to alter or create a document without another person’s authorization with the intent to defraud or injure them, you are guilty of forgery. When it comes to check forgery, it is most commonly committed when:
- An individual steals someone else’s blank check and forges the account holder’s name to cash the check.
- An individual steals someone else’s check through the mail and erases all of the information such as the routing number. However, they usually keep the account holder’s signature. This crime is known as check washing.
- An individual creates a fake check and forges the information to make it look legitimate in exchange for cash.
How is this criminal offense punished in New Jersey?
In New Jersey, forgery and possession of forgery devices are felonies. As mentioned above, depending on the severity and degree of the offense, your penalties will vary. However, if you commit the criminal offense of check forgery, it will be classified as a third-degree felony offense. Typically, those convicted of third-degree felony offenses will face up to 5 years of incarceration and a fine upwards of $15,000. It is important to note that possession of a forgery device is also a serious crime as it is also classified as a third-degree felony.
What should I do if I am charged with this offense?
If you have been charged with check forgery in New Jersey, it is critical to act as soon as possible to prevent harsh penalties. If you knowingly or unknowingly committed this criminal offense, you need appropriate legal representation that will work tirelessly to help you achieve the best possible outcome. A felony offense carries significant penalties including an array of hefty fines and incarceration. However, the negative repercussions don’t stop there. The consequences of a felony offense will haunt you for the rest of your life as it will permanently remain on your criminal record.
For more information on what options may be available, please contact a determined and skilled Camden County criminal defense attorney. Allow our firm to fight on your behalf today.