With the use of technology in our modern day it is important to be able to securely pass documents, photographs, and signatures.
However, falsifying documents and altering them is easier now than it has ever been in the past. This is considered forgery, and it is a serious crime that has severe punishments.
The range of offenses can be large. Forgery can involve a number of offenses from a person signing a check that isn’t theirs to altering an academic transcript. Despite the ease of a crime like this, state laws and the federal government work hard to make sure that people are charged and convicted of forgery.
What is Forgery?
Forgery is a crime of falsely making or altering a copy of a document, signature, banknote, or work of art. It is important to note that forgery does not just include making of false writings, but of altering an existing writing as well, especially when that document will impact a legal right.
That means a person can be found guilty by falsely writing in another person’s signature, as well as deleting significant portions of a document. For a crime to be considered forgery it does have to have legal implication and be false.
As our culture is growing more dependent on technology, we rely heavily on the ability to exchange trustworthy documents. When a document has been forged, the consequences can be significant have far reaching effects on businesses and individuals.
In the past, forgery was considered making or altering a false writing. If a person possessed, used or offered false writing with the intent to defraud, it was considered a separate offense. This offense was known as “uttering a forged instrument.” Today, most states will handle both crimes as a single offense.
When Forgery Is Handled Under Federal Law
While each state has its own laws, it is important to note that it can be handled under federal law and in the federal court. This includes cases where forgery was done on a federal document including a passport, work visa, or the crime was intended to defraud the federal government. Another time in which a crime is handled in a federal court is when a document crosses state lines.
What is the Punishment for Forgery?
When it comes to being charged with forgery, the punishment can range significantly depending on the specifics of the documents that were forged. However, it is a very serious crime, and is often punishable as a felony in all 50 states. A felony is the most severe crime that can be committed in the State of Michigan and has the steepest consequences.
A person convicted of a forgery offense can expect to face:
- Prison time
- Restitution – Compensating the victim for money or goods stolen
Seek Profession Help
If you or a loved one is facing charges related to forgery, it is imperative that you seek professional help right away. There are a number of ways that an experienced defense attorney can help you and create a strong defense in your name. A defense attorney will help explain the law so that you have a full understanding of what you are facing.
In addition, a competent defense attorney will help make sure that you do not face any unjust punishments and that your rights are protected. Contact us today.
Let’s start fighting for your freedom.