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Stamford Forgery Lawyer

If you have been arrested for forgery in Connecticut, then you will need to the help of a Stamford forgery lawyer. Depending on the type of document or instrument you are accused of forging, you could face serious felony penalties and a lifelong criminal record. Forgery of certain types of documents is punished harshly under Connecticut law, as well as under certain federal statutes.

Although the potential penalties for a forgery conviction can be severe, there are often ways to fight your forgery arrest and get your arrest dismissed. An experienced Stamford forgery lawyer can determine the best defense strategy for you, and give you the best chance of keeping a clean record and avoiding jail time.

Severity of a Forgery Charge

Under Connecticut law, the crime of forgery includes an element of intent. In order to obtain a conviction, the prosecution must prove that a defendant knowingly altered or created a written instrument, or possessed a forged document, with the intent of defrauding, deceiving, or injuring another person.

In cases where a defendant is arrested in Connecticut for a Fake ID or based on their possession of a forged instrument, a Stamford forgery attorney can often help their client avoid conviction if the prosecution does not have evidence showing the required intent.

However, without legal representation, many defendants who do not fully understand their legal rights irreparably harm their chances of avoiding conviction by admitting to this intent element when questioned by police.

As a result, it is the job of a knowledgeable Stamford forgery lawyer to ensure that their client's best interests are being protected at all times.

Classifying the Charge

The crime of forgery in Connecticut involves creating a false written document, or modifying an original written document, in order to deceive or trick others. There are many different ways forgery can occur, from using a Fake ID, to changing a legal document like a will, to making unauthorized copies of a bus pass, to signing someone else’s name to a personal check.

A person commits forgery when, with the intent to defraud, deceive, or injure another person they make, complete, or alter certain kinds of written instruments. In addition, even if the defendant did not create the Fake ID or forged document, merely possessing a Fake ID is illegal. Depending on the type of instrument forged, forgery can be a felony offense.

Forgery can take many forms, although the forgery of valuable monetary instruments like stocks and bonds, also known as counterfeiting, is punished more severely than are other types of forgery. The crime of forgery is categorized into varying degrees under Connecticut law depending on the type of written instrument that has been forged, with different potential penalties applying to each degree. A Stamford forgery attorney can assist in determining the appropriate defense based on the charge faced.

Forgery in the First Degree

Forgery in the first degree, also known as counterfeiting, consists of the forgery or possession of forged money, stamps, or securities issues by a government instrumentality, or of corporate interests in stock and bonds. 

Forgery in the first degree is the most serious type of forgery offense in the State of Connecticut, and constitutes a class C felony. First-degree forgery is punishable by a jail sentence of up to ten years in duration, a fine of up to $10,000, or both.

Forgery in the Second Degree

Forgery in the second degree is the forgery of a legal instrument which affects or transfers some legal right, (such as a will, deed, or contract), or of a certain type of public record, or of a prescription used to authorize the issue of certain drugs. A Stamford forgery lawyer can see this crime most frequently charged with Connecticut Fake ID arrests on local campuses.

Forging these types of documents is a class D felony offense, punishable by a jail sentence of up to five years, a fine of up to $5,000, or both.

Forgery in the Third Degree

Forgery in the third degree includes the forgery of any other written instrument that does not fall into one of the narrow definitions of first or second-degree forgery. Falsely completing certain written instruments, such as by signing with another person’s signature, is also included in this crime.

Forgery in the third degree is a misdemeanor offense, allowing convicted defendants to avoid the serious lifelong consequences of a felony conviction. Forgery in the third degree is a class B misdemeanor, punishable by up to six months in jail, by a fine of up to $1,000, or both.

How an Attorney Can Help

Getting arrested in Connecticut for forgery can be overwhelming and can cause problems with your professional reputations, as well as your ability to get into a good grad school. Whether you merely possessed a Fake ID or the prosecution has evidence that you altered or created a Fake ID or forged written instrument, there are many ways a Stamford forgery attorney can defend against these types of charges while protecting your legal rights.