Forgery Laws In New Hampshire
NH forgery cases are serious business. You very well may be facing a felony depending on which section of the statute you are charged. Thus, not only are you facing a potential prison sentence if convicted, you are also facing the stigma and collateral ramifications of a felony conviction if found guilty.
Often times the forgery cases that cross our desks involve one of the following scenarios: Thinking that Grandma wants you to be wealthy, you steal a check from grandma’s checkbook, fill it in and cash it at the local bank. Grandma finds the check missing, calls the bank; the bank pulls the check and the corresponding video of you cashing it and volia, a felony. Or, a buddy says “do me a favor, go into the bank and cash this check” and, low and behold, the check was a forgery.
Key issues in a forgery case are whether you had a purpose to defraud or knowledge that you were facilitating a fraud to be committed by another. You can see that, in the second example above, the person cashing the check very well might not have knowledge that he was facilitating a fraud on his friend’s behalf. Thus, it’s important to have aggressive experienced lawyers fighting such an allegation.
Let’s say that your mother sends you a birthday card – how nice! You open the card and discovery a check. Damn it all! The check is for a measly $10! Although you are grateful for said check (not really) you add a few more zeros, now making it a great and well-deserved check! Unfortunately, the act of adding a few zeros may land you in prison and bunkmates with a guy named Bubba. Under New Hampshire law a person commits forgery if, “with the purpose to defraud anyone” he “alters any writing of another without his authority.”
Here is another common scenario: An acquaintance gives you a call and asks for a ride to the bank. The acquaintance says he has a check to cash and that that he will give you $10 for the ride. You know that your friend is a bit…shady and he never has any money, let alone a check. Ignoring your gut instinct, you pull up to the teller window, take the check from your friend and pass it to the bank teller. In exchange the teller gives you money. Unfortunately, its later discovered that the check was stolen by said acquaintance. This hypothetical illustrates the commission of a forgery offense as you helped your friend perpetrate a fraud by passing aka “uttering” the check.
Forgery can be charged as a Class B Felony with the potential for a prison sentence or it may be charged as a Class B misdemeanor (a fine only) depending upon the nature of the instrument forged, such as a check.
Attorneys Shepherd & Hayes have successfully handled dozens of Forgery cases over their careers. Call us if you’re facing a Forgery charge.