Forgery is the production of fraudulent or false documents with the intent to defraud. It is a form of fraud and is a type of white collar crime. The most common example of forgery is the signing of another person’s name on a check or other official document without his or her permission for the purpose of monetary gain.
Forgery may be prosecuted as either a felony or a misdemeanor, depending on the amount of loss and the sophistication of the forgery scheme.
California Forgery Laws
Under California Penal Code § 470 being in possession of forged items or personally committing the forgery is equally a crime. Forgery is most commonly committed when any of the following acts are committed with the intention to defraud another:
- Signing the name of another individual, whether real or fictitious on a check, traveler’s check, money order, cashier’s check, promissory note, certificate of stock shares, certificate of ownership, on any notarized document or other official document.
- Counterfeiting or forging the handwriting or seal of another person;
- Corrupting, altering or falsifiing any record of a will, codicil, conveyance or any record of court judgment;
- Knowingly making; forging; altering; counterfeiting; publishing; distributing; and passing, offering, or attempting to offer to pass as genuine documents such as those listed above as well as a request for the payment of money, a contract for money or property, or driver’s license or other state identification card.
The possession or receipt of any known forged item with the intent to pass or publish in any manner is also illegal.
How We Can Help You
David A. Stein is an experienced criminal defense attorney bringing to each client his credentials of representing thousands of individuals who were under investigation or charged with criminal offenses in both State and Federal court. He may help you avoid an unlawful conviction or unfair penalties.
Mr. Stein has proven results of defending clients charged with white-collar crimes and business crimes. He works meticulously on each case and leverages his excellent reputation and relationships with the local judges and prosecutors throughout Orange County. His legal expertise has secured dismissals or reduction of charges.
Contact our office for a confidential consultation at no charge.
The prosecution must prove two things in a California forgery case:
- That the accused committed an act of forgery as described under California Penal Code § 470;
- That the accused did so with the intent to defraud the victim.
Intent is very difficult to prove although prosecutors will try, oftentimes using circumstantial or misleadine evidence.
Mr. Stein has the depth of knowledge necessary to formulate an effective and skillful defense on behalf of his clients.
The penalties for a forgery conviction may vary depending on the particular circumstances of the crime. As with many other white collar crimes, forgery may be prosecuted on the state or the federal level.
Forgery penalties may vary in severity depending on the circumstances of the crime, but they often include both a jail sentence and a fine. For a lesser forgery offense, a person may be charged with a misdemeanor. A misdemeanor forgery conviction carries a maximum of one year in county jail. In a more serious forgery crime, a person charged with the felony can receive a state prison sentence of up to three years.
If you are being investigated, or have been charged with forgery in California, the proven experience of Orange County defense lawyers at the Law Offices of David A. Stein can build a strong defense on your behalf and ensure the protection of your legal rights. We are located in Irvine and handle charges filed in any Orange County city. Speak to David Stein about your case today at no cost. Contact us for a consultation at (949) 445-0040.