Forgery refers to the creation of a false document, alteration of a document or signing of a false signature in order to defraud a person, company or bank of money or property. It may also involve filling in the blanks on an already signed document. A newer type of forgery involves forging prescription slips in order to obtain prescription drugs, which may then be sold or used personally by the offender. Most of the time, forgery is associated with financial transactions and legal documents, such as bonds, checks, promissory notes, deeds, receipts or money orders. It is often charged as a federal crime and will be harshly punished.
In prosecuting a forgery charge, the prosecuting attorney will need to prove, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that the defendant altered a document or created a document with the intent to defraud. Criminal intent is an important factor here, as the simple alteration of a document may not be enough to prove that the defendant had any intent of misusing the document.
Forgery is typically charged as a felony, and a defendant may face a fine and/or imprisonment if convicted. The specific penalties enforced will vary depending on the particular circumstances surrounding the case and the alleged offense.
Facing forgery charges? What you can do.
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