Choose an Experienced Attorney to Handle Your Forgery Case in California

Choose an Experienced Attorney to Handle Your Forgery Case in California

All criminal charges are serious and that is certainly true for a forgery charge. The legal definition is to knowingly fake a signature or handwriting in order to commit fraud. Other activities that may also be considered forgery include falsifying documents that relate to property or money in an effort to commit fraud. Some of the most common examples of forgery include:

  • Adding forged pages to a will;
  • Writing forged prescriptions;
  • Forging a check.

Intending to defraud is an essential part of any forgery charge

Note that just faking a signature on its own isn’t forgery. It doesn’t become forgery unless there is some sort of fraudulent intent. For example, if someone forged their friend’s signature to sign a receipt for dinner, it wouldn’t be forgery as long as the credit card owner gave permission for the card to be used and signed for. On the other hand, if someone fakes a signature for a stolen credit card, it would be considered forgery.

The consequences of a forgery conviction can be significant

As with any other charge, the seriousness of the consequences for forgery depend on whether it’s being charged as a felony or a misdemeanor. The possible consequences for each include:

  • Misdemeanor forgery can lead to up to a year in jail, a fine of up to $1,000, or both.
  • Felony forgery can lead to up to three years in prison and a fine of as much as $10,000.

Note that convictions for both misdemeanors and felonies can lead to probation and restitution.

There are defenses for forgery cases

Though every case is different, the first step we’ll generally take when working with a client who’s been charged with forgery is to work with handwriting experts or other witnesses. They can testify that you weren’t responsible for creating the signatures in question.

That strategy is often successful on its own, but if isn’t applicable to your situation then we do have other methods. For example, another often successful defense against forgery is to show that you didn’t intend to use the documents fraudulently. Since intent is required to prove forgery, it’s possible that we could show the document or signature was created for a different reason, such as satire, or your own amusement. If we can prove that you didn’t intend to use the document to deprive a person or company from legal rights, money, or property, then we’ll likely have a successful case on our hands.

You have found the best forgery attorneys in Southern California

Note that forgery is generally considered under the umbrella of white color crime, and it’s frequently tied to workplace crime. At Law Offices of Torrence L. Howell, we are attorneys with expertise in all matters of business law. We can bring that experience and knowledge to your case to help get the best possible outcome. Call us today at 909-920-0908 for your free consultation. If you’re ready to fight your forgery charge, or get the best plea terms possible, then you’re ready to work with us.