Forgery laws in Texas are designed to be rather non-specific in order to
keep their interpretation broad and encompassing of any other type of
forgery that may not yet have been perpetrated or discovered yet. Many
people are not aware of what exactly constitutes “forgery,”
so on this blog we’ll take a closer look at these laws and discuss
what exactly constitutes this crime.
Some Examples of Forgery
In order to understand what exactly constitutes the crime, we need to know
the definition. In short, the statute for forgery (Texas Penal Code, Title
7, Chapter 32) says that making, altering, or utilizing any other form
of a falsified written item with the intent of defrauding another individual
can be considered forgery. This means that any action including creating
an “instrument” (forged document), to using one to defraud
another individual, to possessing one in the first place could all be
considered forgery under Texas state law.
Some common examples of forgery can include:
- Signing another person’s name on a check
- Altering the amount on a check without permission
- Cashing a forged check at the bank
- Creating a fake contract, bank document, record of sale, or ownership deed
- Using an instrument forged document to transfer money or property
- Creating or attempting to use a fake identification card to gain access
to a location or piece of property\
Federal Forgery Charges
If you forge documents in one state and transport them into Texas, you
could be found guilty of federal forgery charges, as crimes that occur
over state lines can be prosecuted in this way. The same can be said for
counterfeiting charges, which is the name for forging fake United States currency and
then attempting to pass it off as though it were authentic.
Classifications & Penalties
Forgery charges are considered a “wobbler” crime in Texas,
meaning they can vary between a misdemeanor and a felony depending on
the circumstances of your crime. Misdemeanor forgery involves the use
of any type of instrument not included on the list of felony forgery instruments
(which we will discuss in a moment). These are punishable by up to one
year in prison and a fine of up to $4,000. State jail felony charges involve
the writing of a forged will, deed, mortgage, credit card, check, contract,
release, authorization, or security agreement, or agreement to debit from
a financial account. These are penalized by between 18 and 24 months in
jail and a fine of up to $10,000.
A third-degree felony is the most severe type of forgery charge, and includes
paper money, stocks or bonds, postage stamps, a government record, or
an item issued by the state or national government.
If you have been charged with forgery, you should not hesitate to contact
a skilled Fort Worth criminal defense lawyer as soon as possible. At
Jerry Loftin & Associates, we take your criminal charges very seriously, and we balance our dedicated
client service with our unwavering grit and tenacity in the courtroom
to help you get the outcome you rightly deserve. Since 1970, we have helped
numerous clients with their legal issues, and we are proud of our reputation
as a valuable part of the community.
Call Jerry Loftin & Associates today at 817-591-7850 to schedule your
free initial case evaluation.