Forgery is a white-collar crime in which the suspect endorses a check or document in the name of another person or knowingly writes anything with another’s identity for personal gain. According to the Texas Penal Code, Criminal forgery charges involve the alteration of any written article in an unauthorized manner and can include:
- Completing an unauthorized act with a fabricated document
- Manufacturing an original, fictitious document
- Acting upon the forged item
- Owning a forged document with the intent to use or distribute it
Anyone who is accused of forgery faces substantial fines and possible prison time. An aggressive forgery attorney can help defend your rights and fight the charges against you.
Penalties for a Conviction of Forgery
A forgery case may be tried as a misdemeanor or a felony, depending on the circumstances of the case. The state of Texas penalizes the forgery of a will, deed, mortgage or any other contract as a felony with a maximum of two years in prison and up to $10,000 in fines. The forgery of federal funds such as legal tender or postage stamps are tried as third-degree felonies and are punishable with up to 10 years in prison and a maximum of $10,000 in criminal fines.
Defending Forgery Cases
Anyone who is facing a forgery charge must hire a qualified criminal defense lawyer to examine the evidence and create the best possible defense. Possible defenses against a charge of forgery can include the following:
- The defendant unknowingly possessed forged documents. This defense establishes that the defendant did not commit forgery intentionally.
- An attorney may try to argue that the defendant had a lack of intent to commit the crime if the forgery was completed under an instrument of good faith, in which the defendant assumed that he possessed the authority to execute the written change to a document.
- Anyone who was under the influence of drugs or alcohol when the forgery occurred may be able to use a guilty knowledge defense. This defense is sometimes successful in getting a reduction in charges. It demonstrates that a defendant acted in an uncharacteristic manner because he was not thinking clearly.
A res judicata defense establishes that the details of the forgery crime that the defendant was arrested for are different from the details that the prosecution presents to the court. A skilled forgery defense attorney can find these contradictions in the prosecution’s argument and argue them in the defendant’s benefit.
Contact Houston Forgery Attorney James Alston
If you are accused of committing forgery, you should seek legal advice and guidance from a criminal defense lawyer immediately. Houston attorney James Alston is an expert in defending forgery charges. He will do whatever it takes to protect your rights, your reputation and your future.
Get your questions answered - call me for your free telephone consultation at (713) 228-1400