Forgery involves the act of falsifying documents by creating false ones or altering genuine documents with the intention of committing fraud. Forgery can come in many forms. However, the most common types of forgery include items such as bank checks, traveler's checks, credit slips, promissory notes, contracts and other documents. The charges you may face for committing an act of forgery usually depend on the amount of money involved, the circumstances of the case and prior criminal record of the defendant. Forgery is a "wobbler," which means that it may be charged as a misdemeanor or a felony, which is a much more serious charge. If you are being investigated for forgery or if you are facing forgery charges, it is critical that you contact us right away to start building your defense.
California Penal Code
Under California Penal Code Section 470 (a): "Every person who, with the intent to defraud, knowing that he or she has no authority to do so, signs the name of another person or a fictitious person to any of the items listed in subdivision (d) is guilty of forgery." Subdivision (d) lists a variety of items including check, bond, bank bill, cashier's check, traveler's check, money order, lottery ticket, share, trading stamp, power of attorney, and certificates of ownership of property. It is also illegal under this section to modify a medical record.
The consequences of forgery can be serious. If convicted of misdemeanor forgery, you could face up to a year in county jail. If convicted of a felony, you could face up to three years in state prison. A felony forgery conviction could also count as a "strike" under California's "Three Strikes Law." A forgery conviction also has the potential to taint your reputation and make it challenging for you to find a job or keep the job you currently have. Those with professional licenses also risk losing them.
Contacting an Experienced Defense Lawyer
Please do not let this happen to you. If you or a loved one has been accused of forgery, please contact the Law Offices of Daniel E. Kann to obtain more information about your legal rights and options. We have helped many clients have their charges dismissed or reduced. We will fight to ensure that your rights are protected and that you get a fair trial. Call us today to schedule a free and comprehensive consultation.