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.2C:20-1.
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.
New Jersey Penalties and fines for Forgery
Forgery is a very serious crime. A person can be convicted of forgery if they alter a document of another person without permission or create a document with a false or fake name. An individual can also face charges of forgery if they create a copy of a document when the original never existed.
A fourth degree forgery charge is issued when an individual obtains a forged document such as driver’s license, a government issued ID or a social security number. The penalty for this crime is up to 18 months in prison.
Third degree forgery includes altering or creating a document that was either money or something exactly relative to money such as a postage stamp, trying to use some sort of government issued identification knowing it was forged, fifteen or more receipts or UPC bar codes were forged, or the document is a check. Punishment for a third degree forgery charge can result in up to 5 years in prison depending on the value of the fraud committed and the individual’s criminal past.
A second degree forgery charge occurs when a person created false government documents such as a driver’s license or a social security card. If convicted of second degree forgery, an individual can face up to 10 years in prison.
If convicted of forgery, an individual will have a very difficult time obtaining a job that involved business or money. It is crucial for a person convicted of forgery to hire an attorney to receive the best possible outcome for their case in court.