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Felony Forgery

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Felony forgery is distinct from other types of fraud in that the person who commits the crime does so with a specific knowing intent to defraud or deceive. Forgery is considered a felony act in all states and is therefore punishable by a minimum 1 year prison term, as well as probation, fines and loss of privileges.

Felony forgery is

  • The deceptive creation of anything by hand, type, computer, print or engraving with the intent to defraud
  • Modification of an authentic document, such as with fake signatures or misinformation
  • Knowingly possessing a forged document or forgery device
  • Presenting or offering a forged instrument or one with false information

To be charged with forgery –

  • the document or print must look enough like an original to trick a reasonably knowledgeable person
  • The item must have some sort of legal significance

Felony Possession of a Forgery Device

A person who knowingly possesses with intent to commit fraud any type of material or device specifically designed or adapted for forgery is guilty of a class 6 felony and faces a minimum of a year in prison.

Credit Card Felony Forgery

A person commits credit card forgery if they alter, make, manufacture, fabricate a credit card, or falsely alters or embosses a credit card, or

If anyone other than the card holder signs the name of a real or fictitious person to a credit card transaction

Credit card forgery is a class 4 felony and is punishable by a minimum of 2 ½ years in prison.

Felony Forgery as Criminal Simulation

Criminal simulation is

  • defrauding someone by altering an object so that it appears to have value or alters or
  • reproducing materials so they appear genuine
  • making or altering a wrapper, label, stamp, cork or cap, or reusing any wrapper, label, stamp, cork or cap prescribed by the liquor control commission.
  • talking about or possessing any object that is known to be criminally simulated

If loss to the victim is five hundred dollars or more, the crime is a 5th degree felony and is punishable by up to a year in prison, a fine of $2,500.

The laws and penalties regarding felony classes and offenses vary for each state--the examples in this article are from Ohio and Arizona. The information contained in this article should not be construed as legal advice, and those accused of felony forgery should seek legal counsel immediately.

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