Degrees of Connecticut Forgery or Fake ID Charges
There are different degrees of Connecticut forgery or fake ID charges, that an individual can get charged with. There are misdemeanor forgery and fake ID charges, and second-degree forgery charges. Each charge comes with different penalties, and different potential implications. No matter the charge, an experienced forgery and fake ID attorney could devote the time and resources necessary to defending a person’s case. Those who have been charged should speak to a skilled lawyer that could advocate for them.
Misdemeanor Forgery or Fake ID Charges
A misdemeanor forgery charge is forgery in the third-degree which is a class B misdemeanor. Misdemeanor forgery is when any written instrument is altered, forged, or falsely made or when a person possesses any written instrument they know to be forged. Of the different degrees of Connecticut forgery or fake ID charges, this one is less severe. However, even though it is not a felony, it is still a serious crime. It needs to be taken seriously, as it can result in a permanent criminal record.
When someone is charged with a misdemeanor forgery charge, it could mean a couple of things. It may be that the instrument they are alleged to possess or to have forged is not one of the specific instruments covered under the felony forgery charge. Frequently, an experienced criminal defense attorney can work with the police, the state’s attorney, or prosecutor to negotiate a lowering of the charge from the felony forgery charge to the misdemeanor forgery charge to protect the person’s criminal record.
Penalties for Misdemeanor Fake ID Offenses
A person could face up to six months in jail, up to one year of probation, and a fine if convicted of a misdemeanor fake ID offense. Although it is not a felony, the person faces a potential permanent criminal record which stays with them for the rest of their life. In addition, there is the social stigma of having a criminal record.
Possession of a Fake ID
The degrees of Connecticut forgery or fake ID charges do not lessen just because a person did not create or distribute the ID. Even though a person did not create the fake ID, they are just as guilty when it is found in their possession. The statute does not require the state to prove that someone created the fake ID. It just requires the state to prove that the person had it in their possession. The fact that the person did not create the fake ID is not a defense.
When the ID is legitimate and belongs to someone else, the authorities can charge the person who tried to use it with forgery in the-second degree. That is a class D felony charge that includes the act of someone who possesses an instrument and represents it as something it is not.
Difference Between Forgery in the Second-Degree and a Misdemeanor Forgery Charge
There are quite a few differences between the different degrees of Connecticut forgery or fake ID charges. A misdemeanor forgery charge involves any written instrument while a forgery in the second-degree felony charge deals specifically with documents such as written instruments that come from public offices. That includes a driver license from the DMV; an official document that goes on the land records; or a will or similar official document. It also deals with prescription pads. those are specific written instruments that come under the felony forgery charge while any other written instrument that is not one of these four comes under the misdemeanor forgery charge.
What Should Someone Do When Facing Second-Degree Forgery Charges
When someone faces second-degree forgery charges, they should immediately contact an attorney who has experience dealing with felony forgery or fake ID charges. They should to look for an attorney in Connecticut who regularly to the court that they are charged in. The attorney will be familiar with the procedures and how to handle the case to get the best resolution possible.
Elements a Prosecutor Must Prove in a Connecticut Forgery in the Second-Degree Case
In a Connecticut forgery in the second-degree case, the prosecutor must prove that somebody makes or possesses any written instrument including a driver’s license, that the person knows has false information, misrepresentations, or is forged.
Potential Penalties for Forgery in the Second-Degree
The penalties for forgery in the second-degree in Connecticut are up to five years of incarceration, a period of probation, and a fine of up to $5,000. A charge of forgery in the second degree also carries the risk of a permanent felony criminal record if someone pleads or is found guilty.
When to Consult an Attorney
A person should speak to an attorney as soon as they know there is a police investigation or an arrest. When someone is contacted by the police before an arrest and the police want to talk to them, they should talk to an attorney first. The attorney can advise the person or go with them and represent them in the investigation. There is a chance that having an attorney prevents an arrest from happening. If the person is arrested on the spot or they do not know that the arrest warrant is coming, they should contact an attorney as soon as they have an opportunity to do so.
A person should find a defense lawyer with experience defending similar charges. The lawyer should be familiar with the courthouse where the case is being heard. They should closely look at all the police reports to see what can be done; whether there is anything to suppress, and make sure the police followed all protocols necessary. If an individual wants to know more about the different degrees of Connecticut forgery or fake ID charges, they should speak with a knowledgeable attorney today.