Rancho Santa Fe Forgery Defense Attorney
Signature is part of an individual’s personal identifying information. It confirms or validates a statement, decision, or information. To release a check or amount, verify data, provide access, or certify a record, the signature of the owner or authorized person is required. That is why the criminal act of forgery is rampant in any state, including California.
Forgery is the unlawful act of misrepresenting a signature without authorization, imitating something copyrighted, or reproducing a fake document and altering an existing record. Penal Code 470 of California Forgery Laws states that a person has committed forgery if:
- He fakes the signature of another person under his name or an imaginary person;
- He falsifies the penmanship or seal of another person;
- He modifies, manipulates, or fabricates any legal documents of another person such as codicil, will, or judgment;
- He misrepresents, corrupts, or alters any paper such as financial orders, checks, bonds, etc.
The documents pertained to by the Federal law are the following:
- Financial statements;
- Legal documents;
- Property deeds;
- Traveler’s checks;
- Lottery tickets;
- Stock certificates and
- Others owned by another person.
Call Lee Law Group at (619) 349-1588 to get a free consultation.
Deception and the Intent to Defraud
The intent to defraud or the intent to deceive is particularly a necessary element in proving the occurrence of forgery. The prosecution must present pieces of evidence that demonstrate the defendant’s act of deceiving or lying to the victim and that the deception is done to obtain a monetary gain, property, or legal right and deprive the victim of it. The intent to defraud can be exhibited even if nobody was defrauded or suffered from any loss.
Common Defenses Against Forgery Charges
The ideal way of opposing the forgery charges filed against you is to defend yourself with the help of a defense attorney. There are three (3) main legal defenses that can be utilized by a defendant for a forgery (fraud) case. Here are the following:
Without intent to defraud another person;
The intent to deceive or commit fraud through forgery is essential in any forgery case. If there is no sufficient evidence to support the claim of the prosecution, you can use it to defend yourself. If you completely did not show any intent to commit fraud, you can get away with it.
Falsely or mistakenly accused;
In some situations, a defendant is accused by someone else to cover up his wrongdoing. This is especially true in workplaces or business-related disputes. If this is the case, you should use this as a strong defense in court.
Confession prompted by coercion.
Confession prompted by coercion occurs when a defendant was forced to confess by the police during the investigation. This can happen when the inspector handling the investigation threatens the defendant. Another party can also threaten the defendant, which is why he confessed despite his innocence.
Penalties and Punishments for Forgery
Forgery is a type of fraud that is considered a wobbler offense. California Forgery Laws state in Penal Code 470 that a violation of this law carries a punishment of either a felony or a misdemeanor, depending on the circumstances of your case.
If you are charged as a misdemeanor, which is a less offensive crime, you will be imprisoned in a county jail for up to a year. You also need to pay a fine of $1,000. Probation can be granted as well, according to the judgment of the court.
On the other hand, if you are charged with a felony, which is a more offensive crime, you will be sentenced with imprisonment in a county jail for up to three (3) years or a maximum fine of $10,000.
Seek Legal Help From a Defense Attorney
Defending yourself against the prosecution of the court is difficult and perplexing. You need to be educated about the law, especially forgery laws. To increase your chances of winning over the accusation, seek legal help from a forgery defense attorney. Lee Law Group is a legal company based in Rancho Santa Fe, CA, that is committed to providing you with the best defense for your case. We will guide you throughout the complex process of litigation. Our lawyers are experienced, skilled, and passionate about helping you.
Call Lee Law Group at (619) 349-1588 and book a free consultation now!