fake vaccine card

Counterfeit COVID-19 Vaccination Cards Can Result in Criminal Charges in NY

As more and more entities have begun to require people to receive the COVID-19 vaccination, more people have been looking to obtain a fake vaccination card. With the large amount of money that can be made from selling counterfeit vaccination cards, some people have taken to doing just that. However, those who are caught for buying or selling a fake vaccination card can be severely punished. 

What Can You Be Charged With?

When you have been accused of producing counterfeit vaccination cards, prosecutors have the discretion to charge you as they deem fit. In fact, you can be charged with a felony for your actions. Your charges may differ depending upon whether you were the maker of a fraudulent card, you have purchased or possess such a card, and/or whether or not you have used it. Here are a couple of the most serious charges you may be hit with:

Forgery & Criminal Possession of a Forged Instrument

It’s likely that you will be charged with either Second-degree Forgery or Second-degree Criminal Possession of a Forged Instrument. The individual who creates the false document would be the one charged with the forgery while the person who has the document would be charged with criminal possession. These are both Class D felonies and can result in up to 7 years in prison for each card made or possessed. 

Falsifying Business Records & Offering a False Instrument for Filing

If you did more than just make or possess the false documents, you could be charged with First-degree Falsifying Business Records and First-degree Offering a False Instrument for Filing. In a situation in which you provide dales information to an employer or agency that then enters such data into its records, you would like be charged with the former. However, if you presented the card to a public agency for the purpose of it becoming part of their records, you would likely be charged with the latter. Both of these crimes are considered Class E felonies and can result in up to four years in prison. 

Worse than Incarceration?

You may feel relieved to know that whether you buy or sell a fraudulent vaccination card, it doesn’t mean that you will even go to jail if convicted. However, even if you don’t, those convicted of a felony will remain on your record, as New York lacks an expungement statute. Additionally, if you have a certification or license to engage in your career, it could be jeopardized. Additionally, those who are not U.S. citizens can be forced to leave the country, as crimes of fraud and deceit can impact your status. 

The Suffolk County Criminal Defense Attorneys at Macedonio & Duncan, LLP Can Help

If you have been charged with buying or selling false documents of any kind, it’s imperative that you contact a New York criminal defense attorney as soon as possible. 

The Suffolk County criminal defense attorneys at Macedonio & Duncan, LLP can help you to obtain the best outcome. We understand the gravity of what is at stake and can help you to gather the necessary evidence and build a case to help you receive the most optimal outcome. To learn more or to schedule a confidential consultation, contact us today!