Forgery is often considered signing another person’s name but involves the falsification of many other legal documents. Technological advances have allowed for increased ways for people to forge documents.
A person who is accused of forgery may not have known that the documents they were presenting were forged. Any criminal charges will need to be taken seriously as forgery can be a felony in some cases.
Were you or your loved one recently arrested for alleged forgery in the greater Denton area? You should not speak to police until you have legal representation.
Texas Penal Code § 32.21 establishes that a person commits forgery if they forge a writing with intent to defraud or harm another. The term forge is defined as meaning:
Writing is defined as including:
An intent to defraud or harm another is presumed if the alleged offender acts with respect to two or more writings of the same type and if each writing is a government record listed in Texas Penal Code § 37.01(2)(C). This statute provides that a government record includes:
Forgery is a state jail felony if the alleged writing is or purports to be any of the following:
A conviction is punishable by a fine of up to $10,000 and/or up to two years in state jail. Forgery is a third-degree felony if the alleged writing is or purports to be:
A conviction is punishable by a fine of up to $10,000 and/or up to 10 years in prison, All other forgery crimes are Class A misdemeanor offenses punishable by a fine of up to $4,000 and/or up to one year in jail.
When a forgery offense is committed against an elderly individual (a person 65 years of age or older), the offense is increased to the next higher category. In other words, a Class A misdemeanor becomes a state jail felony, a state jail felony becomes a third-degree felony, and a third-degree felony becomes a second-degree felony punishable by a fine of up to $10,000 and/or up to 10 years in prison.
The intent to defraud or harm another party is one of the more difficult aspects of a forgery case for a prosecutor to prove. Some people might have unknowingly possessed forged documents.
There can be other innocent explanations for alleged forgery offenses. Some people may also be able to use claims of duress or coercion in which they were forced to commit acts of forgery out of fear of harm to themselves or their loved ones.
Easy Access to FBI Arrest Statistics | Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP) — According to FBI statistics, the 56,800 people arrested for forgery and counterfeiting in 2014 was the lowest number of the period dating to 2008. Forgery and counterfeiting arrests declined each year. There were 90,100 arrests in 2008, 85,800 arrests in 2009, 78,100 arrests in 2010, 70,200 arrests in 2011, 67,000 arrests in 2012, and 61,000 arrests in 2013.
18 U.S. Code Chapter 25 | Counterfeiting and Forgery — View the federal laws relating to forgery. Learn more about counterfeit acts committed outside the United States, obligations or securities of United States, and deterrents to counterfeiting of obligations and securities. You can also find information about statutes relating to foreign obligations or securities, possessing counterfeit foreign obligations or securities, and fictitious obligations.
If you or your loved were arrested for alleged forgery in Denton or a surrounding area of Denton County, you must not delay in seeking legal representation. Contact the Law Offices of Richard C. McConathy as quickly as you can.