What Is Forgery Law In California?
Forgery, as a white-collar crime, has a relatively broad definition under the current state of California law. According to California Penal Code 470 PC, a forgery law is an act of faking the seal or handwriting of another individual, signing someone else’s name, falsely changing a legal document, and presenting a fake financial document as genuine. Furthermore, these acts will be considered forgery if done so with the intent of engaging in fraudulent activity and without proper authority to sign for another individual. It can be incredibly damaging for victims; among the many damages include being falsely accused of crimes, losing financial and property assets, and having their wills falsely changed.
If the prosecution has adequately proven their case, the perpetrator can face a misdemeanor or felony punishment depending on the context of the forgery, making it a wobbler offense. If a document, regarding money valued at $950 or less, is forged then it becomes a misdemeanor offense. Misdemeanor offenses can carry a maximum sentence of one year in jail. In other contexts, it can either be charged as a misdemeanor or a felony. For a case of felony forgery law, the maximum jail sentence can be up to three years.
Defenses Against Forgery Allegations
Fighting this kind of crime is not something an individual should do on their own. An experienced attorney can best defend them in a court of law, especially against a complicated charge of forgery. Some of the most familiar defenses include proving that an individual has been falsely framed, the individual had the authority to sign as someone else and did not do so with the intent of fraud, and that the document was signed with the individual’s real name and not with another’s name or a fake one. Consulting with an attorney will ensure that the rights of the accused are properly represented and fought for when up against a forgery charge.