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The Spodek Law Group understands how delicate high-profile cases can be, and has a strong track record of getting positive outcomes. Our lawyers service a clientele that is nationwide. With offices in both LA and NYC, and cases all across the country - Spodek Law Group is a top tier law firm.

Todd Spodek is a second generation attorney with immense experience. He has many years of experience handling 100’s of tough and hard to win trials. He’s been featured on major news outlets, such as New York Post, Newsweek, Fox 5 New York, South China Morning Post, Insider.com, and many others.

In 2022, Netflix released a series about one of Todd’s clients: Anna Delvey/Anna Sorokin.

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The reason is simple: clients want white glove service, and lawyers who can win. Every single client who works with the Spodek Law Group is aware that the attorney they hire could drastically change the outcome of their case. Hiring the Spodek Law Group means you’re taking your future seriously. Our lawyers handle cases nationwide, ranging from NYC to LA. Our philosophy is fair and simple: our nyc criminal lawyers only take on clients who we know will benefit from our services.

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How Much Jail Time Do I Face for Forgery Charges in New York City?

How Much Jail Time Could I Get for Forgery in New York City?

Dealing with a forgery charge in New York City can be an incredibly stressful and scary situation. You’re probably worried about what punishment you might face and how much jail time is possible for a forgery conviction.The good news is that not all forgery charges lead to jail time. New York law allows for a range of penalties depending on the specifics of the case. Some forgery offenses are only misdemeanors punishable by probation or short jail sentences, while more serious felony forgeries carry lengthier incarceration.With the help of an experienced New York City criminal defense lawyer, many defendants are able to get forgery charges reduced or even dismissed without serving any jail time. But in order to understand your options and outlook, you need to educate yourself on New York’s forgery laws and potential sentences.

Overview of Forgery Charges in New York

New York State divides forgery offenses into various categories based on the type of document or writing forged and other circumstances of the case. Some of the most common forgery charges include:

  • Forgery in the Third Degree – Class A misdemeanor forgery of items like checks, contracts, deeds, wills or other instruments. Punishable by up to 1 year in jail.
  • Forgery in the Second Degree – Class D felony forgery offenses involving specific types of public documents or instruments, like money orders or stock certificates. Punishable by up to 7 years in prison.
  • Forgery in the First Degree – Class C felony forgery applicable when the forged instrument is part of a scheme intending to defraud more than one person or entity out of over $100,000. Punishable by up to 15 years in prison.
  • Possession of a Forged Instrument – Class D felony for knowingly possessing or uttering a forged instrument, like a counterfeit check or fake ID. Up to 7 years in jail.
  • Criminal Possession of a Forged Instrument – Class C felony for possession of forged instruments as part of a criminal scheme intending to defraud multiple victims. Up to 15 years in prison.

The district attorney has discretion in filing charges, so the specific counts you end up facing depend on the details of your case.

Factors That Influence Potential Jail Time

As you can see, potential sentences for New York forgery convictions vary widely based on the class and circumstances involved. Some of the main factors that will impact what level of jail or prison time you could face include:

  • Your Prior Criminal Record – If you have prior convictions, especially for theft, fraud or forgery, you will likely face harsher punishment than a first-time offender. Repeat offenders often end up with the maximum sentence.
  • Value of Instruments Forged – If the cumulative value of the forged checks, money orders, etc. is especially high, you may face more severe felony charges rather than misdemeanors.
  • Number of Victims – If your forgery scheme impacted multiple victims, prosecutors often bump the charges up to more serious felony levels.
  • Violation of a Trust Position – If you forged instruments in violation of a position of trust or confidence, like an employee embezzling through forged checks, sentences tend to be tougher.
  • Evidence Against You – The less evidence implicating you, the better chance your lawyer has of getting charges reduced or dismissed and avoiding jail time.
  • Willingness to Accept a Plea Bargain – By negotiating a guilty plea to lesser charges, many defendants can minimize potential incarceration, often to just probation or months in jail rather than years in state prison.

While statutory maximum sentences seem intimidating, very few defendants end up receiving the absolute maximum term. But you could still face months or years behind bars depending on the severity of the allegations.An experienced New York criminal lawyer can review the specifics of your case and provide insight into realistic outcomes so you know exactly what to expect.

What to Expect at Sentencing After a Forgery Conviction

If you end up convicted of a New York forgery offense, whether through trial or plea bargain, the final step is sentencing. The judge has authority to sentence you within the statutory range dictated by your particular criminal statute. But how much jail time you actually receive depends on the judge’s discretion.At sentencing, the judge reviews details like:

  • Your criminal history
  • Seriousness of the offense
  • Impact on victims
  • Your likelihood to reoffend
  • Any mitigating factors
  • Recommendations from prosecutors and probation officers
  • Your remorse and willingness to make restitution to victims

For example, say you plea bargain and are convicted of Forgery in the Third Degree, a Class A misdemeanor. While technically punishable by up to a year in jail, first-time offenders often receive no jail time at all – just probation, community service, restitution and rehabilitation programs.However, for more serious felonies against multiple victims involving over $100,000, even first-time offenders may face years behind bars despite having no prior record.The uncertainty around sentencing is why having an attorney argue for leniency is so critical. An experienced lawyer understands what information the judge wants to see and can present mitigating factors to help minimize incarceration.While any forgery conviction is a serious matter, the good news is New York judges recognize that rehabilitation should be the focus – not excessive punishment. With quality legal representation and an argument tailored to your specific situation, many forgery defendants avoid harsh sentences and emerge ready to get their lives back on track.

Getting Effective Representation From a New York Forgery Lawyer

Trying to navigate New York’s complex forgery laws and sentencing options alone can be nearly impossible. The help of an experienced criminal defense lawyer can mean the difference between avoiding jail time or spending years behind bars.Here are some of the ways a knowledgeable New York forgery attorney can defend your rights:

  • Evaluate Weaknesses in the Prosecution’s Case – By proactively investigating the charges, an attorney can attack flaws in the DA’s evidence and potentially get charges dismissed before a trial is even necessary.
  • Negotiate with the DA for Reduced Charges – Well before trial, lawyers work to negotiate with prosecutors to get eligible defendants into diversion programs or strike reasonable plea deals to lesser offenses. This avoids the risk and expense of trial while also reducing potential penalties.
  • Craft Sentencing Arguments to Avoid Jail Time – Even with a conviction, experienced lawyers advocate for probation, home confinement, rehabilitation programs or modest jail terms as appropriate alternatives to lengthy incarceration.
  • Challenge Wrongful Convictions on Appeal – For defendants sentenced excessively relative to their actual offense, appellate lawyers can often get prison terms reduced by highlighting legal errors.

Don’t take chances with your future by trying to defend a New York forgery charge alone. Get experienced legal representation right away to take advantage of every opportunity to reduce charges and avoid substantial jail time depending on the circumstances.

What Should You Do If Facing Forgery Charges in NYC?

Finding out you’ve been charged with any criminal offense can be terrifying. And a forgery accusation can make you feel helpless, overwhelmed and extremely concerned about what the future holds.Here are some steps to take right away if you or a loved one is facing potential forgery charges in New York City:1. Remain Silent and Request a Lawyer – If questioned by police about an alleged forgery, clearly invoke your 5th Amendment right to remain silent and refuse to answer questions without your attorney present. What you say can only be used to incriminate you. Let your lawyer handle communications.2. Hire an Experienced NYC Forgery Lawyer – Trying to save money with a cheap lawyer often backfires. Vet attorneys thoroughly and retain one experienced specifically in fighting New York forgery cases. This gives you the best chance of avoiding harsh punishment.3. Follow Your Lawyer’s Advice Diligently – With so much on the line, listen closely to your lawyer’s guidance at every phase. Complying with all recommendations maximizes the chance of charges being lowered or dismissed.4. Be Proactive About Seeking Counseling – Judges want to see defendants addressing underlying issues, so be proactive about getting counseling for substance abuse, gambling issues or other mitigating factors. This can help avoid jail time and show your willingness to rehabilitate.5. Accept Responsibility and Make Amends to Victims – Forgery hurts innocent people. Showing genuine remorse and making victims financially whole again counts heavily at sentencing. Listen to your lawyer’s advice about properly apologizing and providing restitution.With an experienced criminal lawyer guiding you through each phase, many New Yorkers facing forgery allegations avoid serving substantial jail time. Get experienced legal help right away to protect your future.


For more information on New York forgery laws and potential defenses, check out the following legal resources:

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