What is Forgery and why is it imperative to seek the counsel of Forgery Defense Attorneys?
Forgery is a statutory crime; however, it is not a part of the generic white-collar-crime theft offense. (Pen. Code, § 470 et seq. includes the forgery offense as a separate violation with distinct penalty; see Pen. Code, § 473.) However, it is a form of fraud that is closely related to the traditional modes of white collar theft and requires a similar intent.
Forgery as a Crime | Forgery Defense Attorneys are here to help
Contrary to common belief, signing the signature of another person on a document is not the crime of forgery unless a specific intent to defraud is present. Nevertheless it is wise to seek the counsel of Forgery Defense Attorneys to help in your case. The crime is committed when one makes, alters, or negotiates a false document with such specific intent. An intent to defraud exists where one intends to act to the detriment of another; as with white collar theft in general, the defendant need not profit from the act. The criminal forgery law of California prohibits falsely making, altering, forging, or counterfeiting specified documents. (Pen. Code, § 470.)
The statute lists common financial and commercial instruments, including patents, notes, checks, drafts, contracts, due bills, receipts, controller’s warrants, debt releases, stock certificates, bond assignments, drafts, court orders, judgments, returns of process, etc. In addition, it prohibits the attempt to pass any of the specified documents as genuine. Counterfeiting or forging the handwriting of another with the intent to prejudice or defraud any person is also disallowed. Also, making, forging, or altering any entry in any book of records with intent to defraud is criminal forgery. (Pen. Code, § 471.) Finally, forging or counterfeiting any corporate or public seal, or knowingly possessing and willfully concealing such a counterfeit seal, constitutes the crime of forgery. (Pen. Code, § 472.)
Elements Of Forgery
The crime of forgery involves four elements: (1) the forging or passing of (2) a false document (3) without authority and (4) with the intent to defraud.
What Is Punishment For Forgery?
Forgery is a “wobbler” felony/misdemeanor. (Pen. Code, § 473.) Where conviction occurs for multiple felony counts, there may be some constitutional limitations on consecutive sentencing.In addition to penal sanction, those convicted are subjected to disenfranchisement from public office by separate provision of the California Constitution. (Cal. Const., art. VII, § 8.)
Possession of Forged Instruments | Law Advocate Group, LLP
Apart from the prohibition against altering or passing false documents, a separate statute bars possession or receipt of certain specified forged or counterfeited instruments. (Pen. Code, § 475.) Included in the list of contraband items are forged promissory notes, bank bills, trading or other stamps, and lottery tickets; one who knows they are forged and intends to pass them (or permits them to be passed) violates this separate statute. In addition, the statute prohibits possessing any unfinished note or bill, check, money order, or traveler’s check, with the intention to fill the blank or allow another to fill it, in order to have the document passed with the intent to defraud another. Violation of this more specific prohibition carries the same penalty as the generic forgery statute, a felony/misdemeanor wobbler. The intent of Penal Code section 475 is to extend criminal liability beyond altering and passing for those instruments which are highly negotiable and easily altered. A possession prohibition widens the scope of liability and permits earlier police intervention.
Our Forgery Defense Attorneys are Experienced & Thorough
Our Forgery Defense Attorneys are based in Beverly Hills, Los Angeles where our lawyers have acquired over 80 years of combined experience in legal representation. Our skills and knowledge are a top resource for our clients that has been recognized by industry peers and judges. If you have a criminal matter specifically involving Forgery, please take a moment to fill out the form below so that we may get in contact with you.
Information on this website was written by LAW ADVOCATE GROUP, LLP as advertising material and is intended for general information purposes only. Nothing on this site should be taken as legal advice for any individual case or situation. This information is not intended to create, and receipt or viewing does not constitute an attorney-client relationship.