Recently, Governor Kathy Hochul signed a bill into law that makes producing or using a falsified vaccination card a crime. The law is called the TRUTH IN VACCINATION LAW.
Penalties for Falsifying a Vaccination Card in New York
The law amends New York’s Penal Code by including vaccine cards under the definition of “written instruments” for the purpose of the forgery statute. Under the new law, individuals who possess falsified vaccine cards can now be charged with “Criminal Possession of a Forged Instrument.” The penalties for this offense are as follows:
- Third Degree Criminal Possession of a Forged Instrument — A conviction for a violation of New York Penal Law 175.20 is a Class A misdemeanor, carrying a penalty of up to a year in jail or three years of probation.
- Second Degree Criminal Possession of a Forged Instrument — Under New York Penal Law 175.25, this crime is a Class D felony, punishable by a maximum of seven years in prison.
- First Degree Criminal Possession of a Forged Instrument — This crime is the most serious in the category and can be charged as a Class C felony under New York Penal Law 170.30. An individual found guilty of this offense can face up to 15 years in jail.
The vaccine card law also explicitly makes it a Class E felony to intentionally alter computer material to indicate that an individual was vaccinated against COVID-19.
Contact Experienced Criminal Defense Attorneys on LONG ISLAND
Falsifying or forging a COVID-19 vaccine card is a serious offense that can come with life-changing consequences. If you’ve been arrested for possessing, distributing, or altering COVID-19 vaccine cards, it’s critical to obtain an experienced criminal defense attorney who can fight for your rights. An arrest doesn’t mean a conviction — our criminal defense attorneys will work hard to protect your Constitutional rights and achieve the best possible outcome in your case.
Contact us to learn the best way to protect yourself BEFORE YOU ARE ARRESTED.
If investigators or detectives come knocking on your door, call you up, stop you outside work, or even have you arrested out of state due to the long arm of law enforcement, don’t think you’ll talk yourself out of trouble. Remain respectfully silent, ask for an attorney, and exercise your rights.