Forgery is a serious criminal offense in New Jersey that should not be taken lightly. A conviction for forgery carries potentially life changing consequences. If you are under investigation or have already been charged with forgery in Mercer County, it is imperative that you retain a skilled criminal defense attorney to defend your charge at the Superior Court in Trenton. This is the venue where your charge must be heard since all forgery cases involve an indictable crime that falls outside the jurisdiction of a municipal court. The veteran criminal defense lawyers at the Law Offices of Jonathan F. Marshall have over 100 years of combined experience defending forgery charges arising in Hamilton, West Windsor, Princeton, Trenton, Lawrence and other municipalities in the county. Our attorneys have successfully represented many individuals just like you accused of forging prescriptions, driver’s licenses, car titles, checks, credit cards and other items. Call our Lawrenceville Office for a free consultation with an attorney on our staff anytime 24/7. A lawyer is ready to review your case now.Forgery Charge in Mercer County
In the state of New Jersey there are a variety of conditions to which an individual may find themselves charged with forgery. Forgery is contained at N.J.S.A. 2C:21-1 of the New Jersey Criminal Code. A person is guilty of forgery if he/she:
(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).
There are essentially four varieties of forgery that arise under 2C:21-1 including altering or changing the writing of another person, issuing what purports to be a genuine writing of another person, issuing a writing that inaccurately represents the time and place that it was executed or representing (a.k.a. “uttering”) that a writing is genuine when you know it is not.Elements of Offense
In order to convict you of forgery, the Mercer County Prosecutor’s Office must establish, beyond reasonable doubt, that you: (1) offered a writing; (2) that was altered without consent, was completed, executed, authenticated, issued or transferred fraudulently or uttered as authentic when it was not; (3) knowing that the writing was not valid or genuine; and (4) possessed an intention to defraud or injure the victim.Grading of a Forgery Offense
Subsection (b) of 2C:21-1 concerns “Grading of forgery.” All forgery charges are, as previously stated, indictable so they fall within the jurisdiction of the Mercer County Superior Court that is located in Trenton. Forgery is a crime of the third degree if the counterfeited item is money, a check, securities or documents issued by a governmental agency, including a license, motor vehicle title or birth certificate. It is also a third degree crime to forge a New Jersey Prescription Blank. In all other cases of forgery result in a fourth degree crime.Penalties for Forgery
The penalties for forgery vary depending on the degree of the crime committed. Fourth degree forgery carries penalties that include up to 18 months in prison and a $10,000 fine. An individual convicted of third degree forgery faces up to 5 years in prison and a fine of up to $15,000.Hamilton Township Forgery Defense Lawyer
If you have been charged with forgery it is certainly in your best interest to contact a skilled defense lawyer to discuss representation. Our team of criminal attorneys at the Law Offices of Jonathan F. Marshall is ready to prepare a defense that can help you avoid a conviction. We serve all of Mercer County in this capacity, including charges filed in Ewing, Robbinsville, Hopewell, Pennington and Hightstown. Call us at 609–683–8102 to speak to an attorney immediately.