The Crime of Forgery
Forgery is a serious offense and it is punishable as a felony in all fifty states. In most cases, it is penalized as a federal offense; and is defined as the crime of making, altering, use, or possession of false writing in order to commit a crime or fraud – especially, if a person fakes another individual’s signature or imitates handwriting on important documents.
When a person commits forgery, the person must intentionally alter a document in a dishonest way; which means not only faking signatures, but can also be altering existing writing if the changing of the material affects a person’s legal rights. Deleting, adding, or changing significant portions of a document can also be considered an illegal or forged alteration.
In order for false writing to be considered forgery, the writing must have apparent legal significant. For example, if a person forges a passport, driver’s license, or government-issued document then this will constitute forgery. A document need not necessarily be a legal or government- issued document. It simply needs to affect a person’s rights and obligations in order to be considered fraud.
In order to be guilty of forgery, the defendant must intend to defraud someone or some entity; as a federal law, it is punishable by a fine and up to fifteen years in prison. Federal law also prohibits forms of falsification such as counterfeiting money, or faking immigration documents and military discharge certificates.
If you want to learn more about forgery crimes, or if you have been charged with forgery and now want assistance in your case, then contact a lawyer at The Martinez Law Firm today. With the right attorney there to help you, you will be able to tackle your case with confidence and may be able to avoid serious penalties associated with forgery.