Due to the breadth of situations in which forgery can arise, charges for forgery are often accompanied by charges for other offenses such as prescription fraud, check fraud, credit card fraud, identity theft, and theft by deception. Further, if you are found to be in possession of an instrument used to produce forged documents, you may be charged with a separate offense known as possession of forgery devices, yet another indictable felony in New Jersey. The rarity of cases in which forgery occurs in isolation underscores the severity of the penalties that may be imposed upon those convicted. These charges are typically graded as third or fourth degree crimes, meaning that a conviction may result in a prison sentence ranging from 18 months to 5 years, depending on the circumstances of the specific case. These penalties are notwithstanding any other punishments that may be associated with other charges. It is important to note that the State may require you to serve consecutive sentences if you are found guilty of more than one offense.
At The Law Offices of Jonathan F. Marshall, several of our attorneys have participated in the prosecution of theft and fraud offenses while serving on behalf of the State as County Prosecutors. We consider these members of our renowned criminal defense team among our greatest assets, due to the invaluable insight they provide when constructing defense strategies for our clients. With over a century of combined legal experience, our seasoned criminal trial team is able to anticipate the State’s potential arguments and target weaknesses that will benefit our clients. Whether your case requires a negotiated plea to a lesser sentence, downgraded charges, enrollment in Pre-Trial Intervention or another diversionary program, or an outright dismissal to be effectively resolved, we will aggressively protect and advocate for your interests from the moment we are enlisted to serve you. Contact our offices to discuss your case free of charge and learn more about how we can position you to achieve the best possible outcome. One of our attorneys is always available to provide the answers to your questions. Simply call our Somerset County office at 908-722-1011.
What is Considered Forgery in New Jersey? – N.J.S.A. 2C:21-1
Under section N.J.S.A. 2C:21-1 of the New Jersey Criminal Code, “A person is guilty of forgery if, with purpose to defraud or injure anyone, or with knowledge that he is facilitating a fraud or injury to be perpetrated by anyone, the actor:”
- Alters or changes any writing of another without his authorization;
- Makes, completes, executes, authenticates, issues or transfers any writing so that it purports to be the act of another who did not authorize that act or of a fictitious person, or to have been executed at a time or place or in a numbered sequence other than was in fact the case, or to be a copy of an original when no such original existed; or
- Utters any writing which he knows to be forged in a manner specified in paragraph (1) or (2)
The term “writing” includes printing or any other method of recording information, money, coins, tokens, stamps, seals, credit cards, badges, trademarks, access devices, and other symbols of value, right, privilege, or identification, including retail sales receipts, universal product code (UPC) labels and checks. This section shall apply without limitation to forged, copied or imitated checks.
Penalties for Forgery in New Jersey
Forgery is classified as a fourth degree crime, punishable by a maximum term of incarceration of 18 months, unless any of the following circumstances applies, in which case forgery is elevated to a third degree crime, which entails a 3 to 5-year term in New Jersey State Prison.
Forgery is a third degree crime if the writing associated with the offense purports to be:
- A check, money order, or issue of securities
- Postage or revenue stamp
- Other instrument, certificate or license issued by the government
- New Jersey Prescription Blank
- Document conveying personal identifying information
- Access device
- 15 or more forged or altered retail sales receipts or universal product code labels
Speak to an Experienced Watchung NJ Forgery Defense Lawyer
If you or someone you love has been accused of forgery in Somerset or Hunterdon counties or elsewhere in New Jersey, contact The Law Offices of Jonathan F. Marshall at 908-722-1011. We will immediately begin investigating and constructing our case to defend your innocence.