Recently, a state appellate court issued an opinion in a New York forgery case discussing whether concert and sport event tickets can fall within the statute governing criminal possession of a forged instrument in the second degree. Ultimately, the court concluded that tickets to concerts or sporting events affect the possessor’s legal rights, and therefore fall within the statute. Thus, the court affirmed the defendant’s convictions. If you have questions about any aspect of criminal law, it is crucial to reach out to a New York criminal defense attorney to get answers.
The Facts of the Case
The defendant was arrested in possession of counterfeit concert tickets. Subsequently, he was arrested again for counterfeit sporting event tickets. In each case, the defendant was charged with criminal possession of a forged instrument in the second degree which is described in New York Statutes section 170.10. Under that statute, a person is prohibited from falsely making, completing, or altering a written instrument with the intent to defraud another. This prohibition applies to deeds, wills, contracts, and any “other instrument which [impacts] a legal right, interest, obligation or status.”
The defendant argued that the tickets were merely revocable licenses and that they did not affect a holder’s legal rights. He also argued that a concert ticket or ticket to a sporting event was nothing like the other items listed in the statute, and thus were not intended to be covered by the statute. The defendant’s argument was rejected by the trial court, and he subsequently entered a guilty plea to the charges. On appeal, the defendant argued that the court lacked jurisdiction to hear the case, essentially making the same argument as he did at trial.
The Court’s Opinion
The court agreed with the defendant that the tickets were revocable licenses, but held that they also affect the legal rights of the possessor. In coming to this conclusion, the court considered what, if any, rights a ticket holder has. The court noted that a ticket holder can, in some cases, bring a breach of contract claim for the price of the ticket if they are wrongfully ejected. The court also noted that a ticket gives the holder the right to do what would otherwise be illegal. For example, a person who snuck into a concert without a ticket could be ejected and charged with theft of services. Thus, the court rejected the defendant’s argument on appeal and affirmed his convictions.
Have You Been Charged with Forgery?
If you have recently been charged with forgery or any other paper crime, contact the dedicated New York criminal defense attorneys at the law firm of Tilem & Associates. At Tilem & Associates, we have extensive experience representing clients in all types of New York criminal cases, including fraud and forgery. To learn more about how we can help you fight the charges brought against you, call 877-377-8666 to schedule a free consultation.