Most people have heard of the crime of “forgery”; however, people really understand how many different fact scenarios can lead to being charged with the offense of forgery. As is always the case, the best way to evaluate your specific case if you have been charged with a criminal offense is to consult with an experienced Nebraska criminal defense attorney. In the meantime, however, it may help to familiarize yourself with the statute that applies to the offense of forgery, as well as the possible penalties for a conviction, if you have been charged with forgery in Nebraska.
Forgery in the First and Second Degree are defined in Nebraska Revised Statutes 28-602 and 28-603 respectively. Forgery in the First Degree is defined as follows:
(1) A person commits forgery in the first degree if, with intent to deceive or harm, he falsely makes, completes, endorses, alters, or utters a written instrument which is or purports to be, or which is calculated to become or to represent if completed:
(a) Part of an issue of money, stamps, securities, or other valuable instruments issued by a government or governmental agency; or
(b) Part of an issue of stock, bonds, bank notes, or other instruments representing interests in or claims against a corporate or other organization or its property.
Forgery in the Second Degree is defined as follows under the statute:
“Whoever, with intent to deceive or harm, falsely makes, completes, endorses, alters, or utters any written instrument which is or purports to be, or which is calculated to become or to represent if completed, a written instrument which does or may evidence, create, transfer, terminate, or otherwise affect a legal right, interest, obligation, or status, commits forgery in the second degree.”
The primary difference between Forgery in the First Degree and Forgery in the Second Degree centers on the source of the forged instrument. Forgery in the First Degree involves forgery of a governmental or corporate instrument whereas Forgery in the Second Degree may involve any instrument.
Forgery in the First Degree is a Class II felony in Nebraska and carries with it a maximum of four years in prison and two years of post-release supervision and/or a $25,000 fine. Forgery in the Second Degree may be charged as Class IIA felony if the “face value, or purported face value, or the amount of any proceeds wrongfully procured or intended to be procured by the use of such instrument” is $5,000 or more, a Class IV felony if the value is at least $1,500 but less than $5,000, or a Class I misdemeanor is less than $1,500. Penalties for a conviction of Forgery in the Second Degree range from a maximum or one year to a maximum of three years plus 18 months of post-release supervision and/or a fine of anywhere from $1,000 to $10,000.
If you have been charged with Forgery in Nebraska contact Petersen Criminal Defense Law 24 hours a day at 402-509-8070 to discuss your case with an experienced criminal defense attorney.