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Why might a forgery charge be filed and what are the penalties?

There may be a lot of misconceptions about certain activities and the criminal consequences associated with those activities. Forgery, for example, is kind of a gray area for some people. What truly constitutes a forgery charge? In order to understand this potentially illegal activity, we are going to cover the key element required for a forgery charge and the potential penalties allowed under California laws.

Forgery is kind of a broad topic. Several activities may be considered forgery, the most common of which revolves around signing someone else's name on checks. Altering documents, creating fake documents or reproducing objects may also be considered forgery. Depending on the item allegedly forged, a variety of criminal charges could be filed. They include fraud, theft, larceny and counterfeiting.

The key element in a potential forgery case is intent. In order for prosecuting attorneys to secure a conviction of such charges, they must prove the accused's intent was to deliberately deceive another or to commit fraud. This can certainly be a difficult task, and several defensive strategies may be available to help fight such accusations.

California residents who are accused of committing forgery may face a number of potential penalties -- if a conviction is ultimately secured. The possible penalties will vary based on the individual circumstances surrounding the alleged crime, but may include jail and/or prison time and fines. A strategic criminal defense may prove beneficial in dispelling any falsely perceived intentions and resolving the case in a way that best protects the interests of the individual accused.

Source: FindLaw, "Forgery", Jan. 10, 2015

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Former Criminal Prosecutor With Proven Results