Forgery is creating a false copy in an effort to defraud someone or something.
The crime of forgery is defrauding someone through the act of altering or falsifying a written document.
When someone forges a signature or writes a bad check with the intent to defraud, this is known as uttering a forged instrument.
Forgery is very similar to the crime of fraud as both acts are deceptive in nature. Fraud typically involves forged items to complete the criminal act, Forgery is reserved to written documents.
It is important to understand that there is a difference between forgery and false pretenses. For something to be considered forgery, the fraud must be performed as a written document that has legal value or significance.
For instance, simply writing a falsehood that has no legal bearing isn’t forgery, but if the act has legal significance, it is forgery.
Forgery is also different from the criminal act of counterfeiting. It typically involves changing the names of signatures or altering documents for the purpose of fraud and thievery.
Forgery could be summed up as the willful alteration or change of written documents with the sole purpose or intention of defrauding.
The crime of forgery may be a federal offense, a state offense, or both.
If a birth certificate, property title or deed is forged, it is a criminal act against the state. If a document is forged and then sent through the United States Postal Service, the act then becomes a federal offense.
If you have been charged with forgery you should seek a free evaluation of your case from an experienced criminal defense attorney who has experience handling both federal and state forgery charges.