Under California Penal Code 470, you may be charged with forgery if you sign another person's name to a document, fake someone's handwriting or seal or falsify a legal document. In addition, you could face forgery charges if you present a false document as a genuine one - this particular charge typically involves a check or promissory note. Forgery is considered a "wobbler" meaning the crime may be considered a misdemeanor or a felony.
Types of fraud that rises to forgery
California forgery laws are broad and cover numerous actions that could result in you facing criminal charges. Some examples include:
Forging checks - if you sign and deposit someone's check without their permission or if you sign a check and present it to someone else for payment.
Legal documents - replacing someone's name on a legal document such as a deed or changing a document like a will to be more beneficial to you is also considered forgery.
Fake prescriptions - forging a prescription by signing the physician's name or in the event the pad is signed, using a prescription to obtain drugs not ordered by that doctor.
Other - falsifying signatures on winning lottery tickets, creating false documents like deeds, promissory notes or stocks can also be prosecuted as forgery.
Dealing with defense against forgery
In order for the District Attorney’s Office to successfully prosecute someone for the crime of forgery, they must be able to prove two elements:
You intended to deprive someone of money or rights
You engaged in any activity that resulted in forgery
In order to successfully fight forgery charges, you will need to speak with an attorney who handles white collar crimes. The crime of forgery must be taken very seriously since there can be substantial jail time and fines associated with a guilty finding. If you are facing forgery charges, contact the Law Office of Nic Cocis. Our office is located near the Southwest Justice Center in Murrieta, California. We represent individuals charged with criminal offenses like forgery, DUI as well as juvenile matters in the Temecula, Murrieta, Lake Elsinore, Menifee, Wildomar, Hemet, Perris, Banning, Corona and Riverside areas of California.