White-collar crimes can be punished harshly in the court system in California. There are many charges used to prosecute white-collar crimes, including California Penal Code Section 470: Forgery. You can find out more about the specific charges associated with forgery right here.
Make sure you understand the penalties for a forgery conviction in California with the Simmrin Law Group. You can also use this article to review some examples of legal defenses to forgery accusations in California.
The Legal Definition of Forgery in California
Individuals can be charged with forgery if they intentionally try to defraud other people. PC 470 covers several different acts, including:
- Signing the Name of a Real or Fictious Person Without Authority
- Counterfeiting or Forging Another Person’s Handwriting or Seal
- Falsifying, Corrupting, or Altering Certain Legal Records
- Altering, Forging, Counterfeiting, Publishing, or Altering Certain Documents
There are a tremendous number of documents that can be forged in the state of California. Common examples of items that may be forged, leading to PC 470 charges, include:
- Bank Bills or Notes
- Cashier’s Checks
- Traveler’s Checks
- Money Orders
Note that this is not an exhaustive list of items that can be forged in California. Counterfeiting or altering other documents could also lead to forgery charges. You should be aware that forgery charges also require an individual to try to defraud another person or an entity in some way. This means that intention plays an important role in all forgery cases.
Other Charges Similar to Forgery in California
Individuals in California could be charged with forgery in connection with many different fraud charges or with identity theft accusations. Other charges that closely resemble forgery in the state of California can include:
- California Penal Code Section 132 and 134: Offering or Preparing False Evidence
- California Penal Code Section 476: Check Fraud
- California Penal Code Section 484(f): Credit Card Fraud
A white collar crime lawyer in Los Angeles can offer you legal answers about fraud and forgery charges. Learn more about how the court system prosecutes these acts with the Simmrin Law Group.
The Results of a Conviction for Forgery in California
California’s court system can treat forgery as either a misdemeanor or a felony. Generally, individuals should face only misdemeanor charges if they:
- Forge a Bond, Bank Bill, Traveler’s Check, Cashier’s Check, Money Order, or Check
- For a Value of Under $950 AND
- They Are Not Concurrently Charged and Convicted of Identity Theft
Other examples of forgery can lead to felony charges. Felony charges may be used even in the above circumstances if the accused has a previous conviction for some sex crimes or violent crimes in California. Penalties for a misdemeanor conviction can include:
- Fines: Up to $1,000
- Jail Time: Up to One Year
Felony convictions can result in:
- Fines: Up to $10,000
- Jail Time: Up to Three Years
Individuals may also have to make restitution payments to victims of forgery after a conviction.
Options of Legal Defenses for Forgery Charges
Forgery charges do not have to result in a conviction. You can boost your chances of beating a forgery accusation by reaching out to a criminal defense lawyer in Los Angeles right away. A legal professional can offer you dedicated support by working to build your defense. Depending upon your situation, a lawyer can show:
You Didn’t Intend to Defraud Anyone
You should only be convicted of forgery if you were trying to defraud another person or an institution. For example, if you wrote your friend’s signature at the end of a fake check that you sent as a joke, you could avoid a forgery charge in California.
You Didn’t Alter or Forge an Official Document
Not all documents are protected under PC 470. Individuals who write fake love letters, for example, shouldn’t have to worry about being prosecuted on forgery charges in the state of California.
You Were Falsely Accused of Forgery
Not all forgery accusations made in California are legitimate. You could be accused of forgery by a business partner or someone else. If you are dealing with false accusations, a criminal defense lawyer can begin working on your case immediately.
Get Professional Help Resolving Forgery Charges Today
Building a successful defense for California Penal Code Section 470: Forgery charges takes hard work and time. Let the Simmrin Law Group’s criminal defense lawyers in Los Angeles start working on your defense right now. You can contact us today to get a FREE consultation.
Let us answer your legal questions. Call (310) 896-2723 or fill out our online contact form to get started.