Los Angeles Forgery Attorney
Are you being investigated for forgery? Arrested or charged with forgery?
Speak to a Los Angeles criminal defense lawyer before you talk to the police
about your forgery charges —even if the police say they just want
to ask you a few questions. The key to successfully defending forgery
charges is being represented by an experienced criminal defense lawyer.
The earlier the attorney is on board, the more options there will be and
the greater the likelihood of a successful outcome.
Forgery Law - California
In general, forgery laws prohibit falsely making or altering a writing
with the intent to defraud someone. Forgery crimes of a wide variety are
defined in California Penal Code sections 470 to 483.5. Forgery occurs
when you intend to commit a fraud and:
- Sign a document with a name that is not yours,
- Counterfeit or forge the seal or handwriting,
- Alter or falsify a record of a will, codicil, conveyance, or court judgment,
Falsely make, alter, or offer as authentic and genuine any of the following
- Check, bond, bank bill or note
- Cashier's check, traveler's check or money order
- Controller's warrant
- Request for payment of money
- Bill of exchange, promissory note or assignment of any bond
- Contract, due bill for payment of money or property receipt for money or property
- Lottery ticket
- Trading stamp, power of attorney or certificate of ownership
- Certificate of any share or interest in stock of any corporation or association
- Release or discharge of any debt, real or personal
- Transfer or assurance of money, certificates of stock, goods or any property
- Letter of attorney, or other power to receive money or to receive or transfer
certificates of share of stock or annuities
- The acknowledgment of any notary public or an acknowledgement of a notary
public who issues an acknowledgement knowing it is false.
Forgery can be charged as a misdemeanor or felony, punishable by imprisonment
in state prison of up to 3 years or by a county jail sentence of not over
1 year. If you are convicted of forging something and already have one
or two prior "strikes" against you, you will be subject to the
Three Strikes Law and will be looking at a significantly more serious
There are a few defenses available to a person charged with forging or
attempting to forge a document. The main two forgery defenses are:
- Forging a document without any intent to defraud someone (e.g., believing
you had a legal right to sign your grandmother's name on a document)
- Forging a document that would not deprive anyone of a legal right or interest
(e.g., writing a fake letter of recommendation for yourself).
The defense of lack of injury and restitution are available, but generally
unsuccessful. The most fruitful defense to forgery charges is attacking
the element of intent to defraud. Seeking an experienced and aggressive
criminal defense attorney may be your best chance at avoiding a conviction
for forgery or attempting to forge a document.
Contact Stephen G. Rodriguez & Partners
Seeking an experienced criminal defense attorney may be your best chance
at avoiding a conviction for forging or attempting to forge a document.
The Los Angeles criminal defense attorneys at Stephen G. Rodriguez &
Partners have the experience and skills needed to aggressively fight forgery charges.
Contact a Los Angeles criminal attorney
at our office to find out how we can help.