4 Ways to Protect Yourself from Forgery Charges

Forgery charges are serious, and they can affect your life and result in jail time. If you’re facing forgery charges, investing in legal protection is essential. An expert forgery lawyer defense California can provide a solid legal defense for you.

If you’re facing potential forgery charges, it’s important to have a firm grasp of the legal definition of forgery. The prosecution needs to prove that your case includes all elements of forgery to win. 

What Is Forgery?

Forgery is a felony crime that involves falsifying a document. There are many types of forgery in many different categories, but they all include falsifying documents or elements of a document.

In most cases, forgery charges go hand-in-hand with fraud charges. Generally, people forge documents such as ID cards or contracts in order to commit fraud. The California penal code lists more than 30 documents that are commonly forged.

Forgery may also include identity theft. However, the state usually chooses to pursue this as a separate charge.

The element of deception is usually necessary for a forgery conviction. For example, a photocopy isn’t inherently fraudulent, as long as no one is using it as an authentic document instead of a copy.

Forgery cases often involve a lot of discussion of the intent behind a person’s actions. If the intent was forgery, it’s a crime. However, the case may get thrown out if the defense can prove that forgery was not the intent.

It can be a complex crime involving many layers and acts of deception, or it can be as simple as signing someone else’s checks. Regardless of the nature of the forgery incident, it’s treated as a serious offense. 

How Can You Defend Yourself Against Forgery Charges?

If you’re facing forgery charges, there are a few ways you can protect yourself and hopefully avoid legal penalties. Hiring a defense attorney is critical because it’s almost impossible to navigate the legal system on your own without professional guidance.

An experienced attorney will have ideas on your legal options. After reviewing the details of your case, your attorney can determine some specific ways to argue against the prosecution. Even the smallest details can make or break a case, so share all the information you have.

A skilled attorney can contradict the prosecution’s arguments and show an alternative point of view. They can also argue on your behalf, highlighting evidence uncovered during your attorney’s investigation. A personalized defense will also increase your chances of winning the case and avoiding a forgery conviction.

It’s essential to have someone on your side in a legal setting because otherwise, you can quickly get overwhelmed by the legal jargon and other confusing aspects of the legal experience. Your attorney can even provide tips on what happens when you appear in court.

Here are some of the most common defenses against forgery. In the right attorney’s hands, these defenses can be highly persuasive in court.

1. Arguing Against Forgery

If you didn’t commit forgery, you could focus your defense on that fact. Your attorney can help you find ways of proving this. Hiring a handwriting expert, for example, can confirm that you didn’t sign a particular document.

You can also prove that you had permission to sign a particular document through an arrangement such as power of attorney. Your attorney may also pursue other avenues, such as gathering witnesses who can prove that you were not responsible for the forgery.

The goal is to highlight discrepancies and weaknesses in the prosecution’s case. A thorough investigation may turn up details and evidence that contradicts the case they’ve formed.

2. Arguing Against Intent to Defraud

Another popular defense is to argue that you did not intend to defraud anyone. If you did sign a document or make a copy, this affirmative defense is an excellent option. Simply creating a fake document doesn’t entail forgery or fraud.

In some cases, defenders have thought they had permission to sign a document but were incorrect. On a similar note, anyone without legal capacity who signs a fake document can’t have the intent to commit fraud. This includes those with mental disabilities, small children, and others.

The prosecution must prove that you had intent to defraud when you created a fake document. Otherwise, the charges are unlikely to stick and you will receive an acquittal. 

3. Insignificant Document

In some cases, a forgery case may revolve around a document that isn’t legally significant enough to qualify as a forgery. Generally, forged documents provide the forger with some kind of material gain. Forged signatures on checks, for example, give the forger access to money. Some forgeries involve deeds for property or titles for cars.

If the forgery in question for your case doesn’t provide the opportunity for material gain, you may be able to get the case dismissed on those grounds. Legally insignificant documents don’t generally constitute a forgery.

4. Highlight Prosecution Errors

In a court case, the burden of proof is on the prosecution. They must prove that you committed the forgery and intended to commit fraud. If they fail to do so effectively, you can get acquitted.

Providing proof that works in your favor can raise doubts about their assertions and show that the incident does not fit all the criteria of a forgery. If your case doesn’t involve deception or intent to deceive another person, for example, you may be able to persuade the court that the act does not qualify as a forgery.

Hire Skilled Attorneys To Defend Your Forgery Case!

LibertyBell Law Group is a team of highly experienced legal experts from all different fields. Together, we’re able to provide top-notch service to our clients. We have expert researchers, defense attorneys, and more.

Contact us today for help with your forgery case. We provide free consultations to potential clients, and we can answer basic questions about how we’ll handle your case and the legal support we can offer. Schedule your consultation today!

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