2C:21-1a. Forgery. A person is guilty of forgery if, with purpose to defraud or injured anyone, or with knowledge that they are facilitating a fraud or injury to be perpetrated by anyone, the actor:

Alters or changes a writing of another without authorization;

Makes, completes, executes, authenticates, issues or transfers any writing so that it appears to be the act of another who did not authorize that act; or

Uses any writing which they know to be forged.

Under the law forgery is a 4th degree crime unless it falls under one of the listed examples. The most common 3rd degree examples include forged money, checks, and food stamps.

Possessing the instruments, tools, devices, etc. which are used for creating forged items is a separate 3rd degree crime.


2C:21-2.1. Selling fake IDs. Under the law it is a 2nd degree crime to sell any fake government issued identification which can be used to verify a person’s identity or age. This includes drivers’ licenses, passports, and birth certificates.


2C:21-2.1c. Using a fake ID. Using a fake ID is a 3rd degree crime except when the fake ID is used to buy tobacco or alcohol, in which case it is a usually charged as a disorderly persons offense.


2C:21-2.1d. Possessing a fake ID. Merely possessing a fake ID is a 4th degree crime unless the possession of the fake ID was for the purpose of buying tobacco or alcohol, in which case it is usually charged as a disorderly persons offense.

Convictions for forgery carry in addition to the normal fines and penalties a mandatory loss of driving privileges between 6 months and 2 years.


2C:21-4.3. Healthcare Claims Fraud. If you are a professional accused of making false or misleading claims submitted for repayment for healthcare services there are a host of state and federal statutes you may be charged under. In New Jersey this is considered a 2nd degree crime and the convicted is subject to up to 5 times the amount illegally gained. In addition, the professional is at risk from losing her license to practice permanently.


2C:21-4.6. Insurance Fraud. Submitting insurance claims with false information or material omissions constitutes a 3rd degree crime. If five or more false claims are submitted it is a 2nd degree crime.


2C:21-5. Writing Bad Checks. It is a crime in New Jersey to write a check that you know or should know will bounce. The law recognizes that mistakes do happen. Therefore, you have 10 days to cover the bad check before the act becomes criminal. The severity of the crime depends upon how large the check is:

Degree of Crime Value of the Check
2 $75,000 or more
3 More than $1000 but less than $75,000
4 More than $200 but less than $1000.
Disorderly Persons Offense $200 or less.


2C:21-6. Credit cards. Under the law it is a 3rd degree crime to use another’s credit card without permission and a 4th degree crime to steal or possess without permission someone else’s credit card.


2C:21-17. Criminal Impersonation. Identity Theft. It is illegal to impersonate another or assume another’s identity for the purpose of obtaining a benefit. The severity of the crime defends on the value of the benefit received.

Degree of Crime Value Received
2 $75,000 or more; or more than 5 victims.
3 More than $500 but less than $75,000; or a second 4th degree conviction for impersonation.
4 More than $200 but less than $1000.


2C:21-21. Pirating Recordings. While the pirating statues are long and complex, the most common criminal pirating charges are found in 2C:21-21c(2) which criminalizes the knowing transportation, advertisement, sale, resale, or rental of a number of items including CDs, DVDs, blue rays, etc. without permission. The grading of the crime and the fine imposed depends upon the number and type of items pirated. If you are facing a fraud or forgery charge in New Jersey consider hiring a criminal lawyer to get the best possible outcome to your case.

Degree of Crime Number of Items Pirated
2 At least 1,000 sound recording; or 65 audiovisual recording. A $250,000 fine may be imposed.
3 More than $100 but less than $1,000 sound recordings; or More than 7 but less than 65 audiovisual recordings. A $150,000 fine may be imposed.
4 Any other violation under this act. Fines start at $25,000 and double for every subsequent offense.
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