Keeping straightforward business records is not only vital for business, it is the law. It may seem tempting to subtract revenues to keep from paying taxes or other legal obligations. However, it is considered a crime. Whether you change one document or 100, you can end up in jail. Falsifying business records is not nearly as common as forgery, grand larceny or criminal possession of a forged instrument, but it does happen in New York City and around the world. These charges are categorized as either first or second degree. These are extremely serious offenses that are covered under the New York Penal Law sections 175.10 and 175.05. Considered a white-collar crime, a savvy prosecutor can easily bump a small offense up to a felony case. When facing such serious charges, having a lawyer with expertise in this area is imperative.
What is Falsification of Business Records
Falsification of business records is a serious charge. Essentially, it means you tried to purposely defraud someone else. In most cases, the error can be as small as entering incorrect information into a work database. Perhaps, you deleted or altered some documents in the accounts receivable department. Most often, it is small offenses like changing the numbers around on bills or receipts that gets you in the most trouble. You may have had intentions of rectifying the situation when you were able, but you were audited and caught before that time came. Whether you have been placed under arrest or you are under investigation makes no difference; you need an experienced lawyer by your side. Even the best of intentions can cross the parameters of the law. The issues are especially serious when the falsification was made to avoid paying taxes or defrauding the government. Never try to fight such charges on your own. When your professional career and jail time hang in the balance, trust the best in the business to help.
Protecting The Innocent
The New York Penal Law has strict mandates for falsifying business records. Some of the language in these laws may have a direct impact on your case. For instance, this code uses the words “enterprise” and “business record.” For example, perhaps you are an employee doing exactly what your employer asked you to do. You are covered under these codes because you were following the instructions of your subordinate. The employer would be responsible for the falsification, not the employee. These little words can become critical elements that must be discussed with a New York criminal defense attorney. It can mean the difference between jail or freedom.
The Severity of The Charges
The gravity of the allegations plays a pivotal role in your case. Depending on the size of the offense, you will either be charged with first or second degree falsification of business records. First degree charges are a “class E felony,” and they carry a mandatory sentence of one year to life in prison. It all depends on the severity of the falsification. Second degree charges come with a “class A misdemeanor” charge. It is the most serious type of misdemeanor. Sentencing can be up to a year in jail, and it comes along with a fine of $500 to $5,000. When someone is charged with a first-degree falsification, they are also charged with second degree also.
These white-collar crimes are often used to make examples in the criminal world. You need a New York attorney who has defended others in these charges and was successful. We understand the gravity of these allegations. Thankfully, we have the experience to ascertain and work your defense. Even one mistake is enough to cost you your freedom. Do not hesitate. If you are being charged with a crime, call us today for a case evaluation.
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