Like other theft offenses, the severity of a forgery charge depends on the approximate value of the item allegedly forged. Accordingly, forgery can be prosecuted as either a misdemeanor or a felony depending on the specific circumstances of the case.
Regardless of the charge you’re facing, retaining counsel from a Lincoln forgery lawyer may be essential to protecting your future. An experienced white-collar criminal defense attorney is often key to successfully contesting allegations of fraud.
Types of Forgery Classified under State Law
In Lincoln, forgery is broken down into three categories:
- First-Degree Forgery
- Second-Degree Forgery
- Third-Degree Forgery
Neb. Rev. Stat. §28-602 defines forgery in the first degree as falsely producing or altering something with direct monetary value, such as currency, a check, a bond, or a bank note. First-degree forgery is a Class III felony offense with a maximum prison sentence of 4 years and a $25,000 fine. Mandatory post-release supervision may also be required by the court in some cases.
According to Nebraska Revised Statutes §28-603, forgery in the second degree involves producing, signing, or completing any written instrument that has an impact on a legal right or contract with the intent to deceive or harm someone else.
Alternatively, second-degree forgery can be charged as either a misdemeanor or a felony depending on the alleged value of the forged item in question. For example, second-degree forgery is a Class IIA felony when the amount of proceeds is $5,000 more. Second-degree forgery could also be a Class IV felony (amount of goods is between $1,500 – $5,000), Class I misdemeanor (amount of goods is between $500 – $1,500), or a Class II misdemeanor (amount of goods is less than $500). A seasoned Lincoln attorney can explain in further detail how local courts evaluate forged instruments and how their appraisal might impact your case.
Possession of Forged Instruments and Forgery Devices
The consequences for knowingly possessing a forged instrument vary based on the instrument’s purported value. Under Neb. Rev. Stat. §28-604, possession of a forged instrument valued at less than $500 is a Class III misdemeanor, whereas possession of an instrument valued at more than $5,000 is a Class IV felony.
Possession of any item that could be used to produce forged instruments, such as dyes, plates, and presses, may also be charged as a Class IV felony under Neb. Rev. Stat. §28-605. If you are facing forgery charges, you should understand that the purported value of forged items can be aggregated during indictment. In other words, possessing 10 forged items valued at $500 each is equivalent to possessing one forged item valued at $5,000 for the purposes of criminal sentencing.
However, intent is key when it comes to forgery convictions. A knowledgeable lawyer at Berry Law can contest your charges and fight for the best outcome available.
Talk with a Lincoln Forgery Attorney Today
Depending on the forgery charges the prosecution is accusing you of, you may find yourself facing felony charges punishable by prison time, fines, loss of business licenses, and various other consequences.
Getting in touch with a well-versed Lincoln forgery lawyer should be your top priority if you are facing charges or under investigation for forgery. Reach out to Berry Law today to schedule a confidential consultation and discuss your case.