Defending a Forgery Case in New Jersey

Have you or someone you know been charged with insurance fraud, credit card fraud, and check fraud anywhere in New Jersey? Call 732-842-7773 today for the help you need defending your fraud case.

New Jersey Forgery Law: N.J.S.A. 2C:21-1

The New Jersey statute which provides for forgery charges is N.J.S.A. 2C:21-1 which states:

§ 2C:21-1. Forgery and Related Offenses

a. Forgery. 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:

(1) Alters or changes any writing of another without his authorization;

(2) 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

(3) Utters any writing which he knows to be forged in a manner specified in paragraph (1) or (2).

“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.

As used in this section, “information” includes, but is not limited to, personal identifying information as defined in subsection v. of N.J.S.A. 2C:20-1.

Grading of forgery offenses in New Jersey:

b. Grading of forgery. Forgery is a crime of the third degree if the writing is or purports to be part of an issue of money, securities, postage or revenue stamps, or other instruments, certificates or licenses issued by the government, New Jersey

Prescription Blanks as referred to in R.S. 45:14-14, or part of an issue of stock, bonds or other instruments representing interest in or claims against any property or enterprise, personal identifying information or an access device. Forgery is a crime of the third degree if the writing is or purports to be a check. Forgery is a crime of the third degree if the writing is or purports to be 15 or more forged or altered retail sales receipts or universal product code labels.

Otherwise forgery is a crime of the fourth degree.

c. Possession of forgery devices. A person is guilty of possession of forgery devices, a crime of the third degree, when with purpose to use, or to aid or permit another to use the same for purposes of forging written instruments, including access devices and personal identifying information, he makes or possesses any device, apparatus, equipment, computer, computer equipment, computer software or article specially designed or adapted to such use.

Elements of a Forgery Charge and Penalties for Forgery in New Jersey

The intent element is essential for the State to prove forgery in New Jersey, which provides, “[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…” As a result, it is important for an experienced criminal defense attorney to show that any potential mistake or error was not done with the purpose to defraud or injure anyone.

If the forgery offense is associated with any of the financial instruments listed in the above statute, the defendant will be charged with third degree forgery. Otherwise, forgery is a fourth degree offense in New Jersey.

We Handle All Types of Criminal Charges

Criminal charges can be brought in either the Municipal or Superior court. The more severe the criminal charges the more likely they are to be handled in Superior Court, while minor charges are typically resolved in Municipal Court. We have a well deserved reputation for being the best in both arenas.

The severity of your charges is a determination made by the State and is usually based on a variety of factors. Penalties will vary based on the degree of the crime and whether or not there was a criminal conspiracy involved.

Call 732-842-7773 to speak with one of the Moriartys 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to discuss your charges or you can contact us by e-mail to schedule a free initial consultation.