helps people defend against Forgery allegations.
Forgery and Uttering are often charged together, but they are two distinct crimes under Florida law.  A common forgery case involves a person forging another person's name on a check.  Uttering would be passing the check to a bank to withdraw funds from the account.  Forgery is a felony with severe consequences that can affect the rest of your life.  Even if the evidence is strong, there may be options available to you that avoid a felony conviction or jail time.  Give us a call to discuss your particular case.

What is Forgery?

Forgery is defined in Florida Statutes Section 831.01.  To prove the crime of forgery, the State must prove:
  • You falsely made, altered, forged, or counterfeited a document, and
  • you intended to injure or defraud some person or firm.

What kind of documents that you can be prosecuted for forging?

  • a public record,
  • a certificate,
  • a return or
  • attestation
of any clerk or register of a court, public register, notary public, town clerk or any public officer,

in relation to a matter wherein such certificate, return or attestation may be received as a legal proof, or 
  • a charter,
  • deed,
  • will,
  • testament,
  • bond,
  • writing obligatory,
  • letter of attorney,
  • policy of insurance,
  • bill of lading, bill of exchange
  • promissory note, or
  • an order, acquittance, or discharge for money or other property, or
  • an acceptance of a bill of exchange or promissory note for the payment of money, or
  • any receipt for money goods or other property,
  • any passage ticket, pass or other evidence of transportation issued by a common carrier.

What if I forged the signature on a check, but someone else took it to the bank to cash?

The crime of forgery is complete once the making, altering, forging or counterfeiting of the document (i.e. a check) is done with the intent to commit fraud.  What happens with the document after that is irrelevant.  If you do cash the check, you could also be prosecuted for uttering.  But if you sign someone else's name to a check from their account, and you intend an accomplice to go to the bank, tender it and withdraw cash, then you could be prosecuted for forgery, even if the accomplice never makes it to the bank. 

What are the potential consequences of a Forgery conviction?

Forgery is a Third Degree Felony, punishable by up to 5 years in prison.

What are the possible defenses to Forgery?

Common defenses to forgery are that you never intended for the document to be uttered or to be used to injure the listed victim, or that you were not the one who created the forgery, or that you had permission of the person who is alleged to have been injured.  There are also always unique factual defenses.  Give us a call to discuss your forgery case that possible viable defenses. 

If you or a loved one has been arrested for or accused of

Call Shorstein, Lasnetski & Gihon Now!

904-642-3332 (Jacksonville)

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