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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.

We’re selective about the clients we work with, and only take on cases we know align with our experience – and where we can make a difference. This is different from other law firms who are not invested in your success nor care about your outcome.

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New York Forgery Charges Explained

By Spodek Law Group | October 18, 2023
(Last Updated On: October 19, 2023)

Last Updated on: 19th October 2023, 07:19 pm

New York Forgery Charges Explained

Getting charged with forgery in New York can be scary. I’m here to walk you through what these charges mean, so you can understand the situation better.

Forgery basically means falsifying or altering a document to defraud someone. There are a few different forgery crimes in New York:

Forgery in the Third Degree

This is the least serious forgery charge. It happens when you alter or falsify a written document to injure, defraud or deceive someone. It’s a misdemeanor, punishable by up to a year in jail.

Some examples:

  • Altering a signature on a contract
  • Making a fake doctor’s note
  • Changing your grade on a report card

Not the worst crimes, but still illegal!

Forgery in the Second Degree

This charge is more serious – it’s a felony. It means forging one of these important documents:

  • Legal contracts
  • Wills
  • Deeds
  • Prescriptions
  • Credit cards
  • Public records

So forging your friend’s signature on a car loan? Felony.

Doctoring a prescription to get more pills? Felony.

Changing your income on a tax form? You get the idea.

The penalty can be up to four years in prison. Yikes!

Forgery in the First Degree

This is the most serious forgery charge in New York. It means forging:

  • Money
  • Government bonds
  • Stock certificates

Anything that messes with major financial instruments, really.

Even if it’s your first offense, it carries up to 15 years in prison!

So don’t go printing your own $20 bills or forging a Google stock certificate as a prank.

Not worth it.

Criminal Possession of a Forged Instrument

This is a separate crime from forgery.

It means having a forged document in your possession and knowing it’s forged. Like:

  • Having a fake ID in your wallet
  • Having counterfeit bills in your house
  • Having forged checks or credit cards

It doesn’t matter if you forged it yourself or not. Just possessing it is illegal if you know it’s forged.

The penalty depends on what document it is, but can be up to 15 years in prison just like forgery.

What Are Some Defenses?

If you’ve been accused of forgery, don’t panic. There may be defenses your lawyer can use:

  • You didn’t actually forge anything – someone else did
  • You didn’t know the document was forged
  • You had no intent to defraud anyone
  • The document doesn’t meet the technical definition of “forgery”
  • There are issues with the evidence against you

A good lawyer will look at the facts of your specific case and figure out the best defense. Don’t admit to anything until you talk to a lawyer!

What Should You Do if Charged?

If you’re charged with any kind of forgery, here are the steps to take:

  • Don’t say anything to the police – invoke your right to remain silent
  • Politely decline to answer any questions without a lawyer
  • Contact a criminal defense lawyer immediately
  • Listen to your lawyer’s advice – they know how to build the best defense
  • Don’t post about your case on social media


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I was searching for a law firm with some power to help me deal with a warrant in New York . After 6 days I decided to go with Spodek Law Group. It helped that This law firm is well respected by not only the top law firms in New York , but the DA , Judge as well. I...

~Fonder Brandon

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It was my good fortune to retain Spodek Law Group for representation for my legal needs. From the beginning, communication was prompt and thorough. Todd, Kenneth and Alex were the first people I worked with and they all made me, and my company Qumana skincare feel comfortable and confident that the team was going to work hard for me. Everything...

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After meeting with several law firms, I chose the Spodek Law Group not only for their professionalism and experience, but for the personal attention given to me right from the initial consultation. It is important to recognize how crucial having the right legal team is when faced with potentially life altering events that impact families and the lives of loved...

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