West Palm Beach Forgery Attorney
Florida prosecutors aggressively go after anyone they suspect of forging a document, and the punishment for forgery in this state can be severe. If you’ve been suspected of committing forgery, you need an experienced criminal defense attorney by your side. At the Skier Law Firm, we zealously defend our clients against accusations of forgery and provide a top-notch defense against these charges.
What is Forgery?
Under Florida law,forgery is defined as the act of making, altering, forging, counterfeiting, or producing false documentation with the intent to defraud or injure another person. Defrauding or injuring is defined as the intent to trick, deceive, or economically harm another person. Documents specifically listed as being prohibited from being forged include:
- Charters, wills, deeds, testaments, bonds, or writing obligatory
- Letters of attorney
- Insurance policies, bills of lading, bills of exchange, or promissory notes
- Receipts for money, goods, or other property
- Passage tickets, pass, or other evidence of transportation used by a common carrier
The punishment for a first-time forgery conviction is a third degree felony. This comes with a state prison sentence of up to five years, probation for up to five years, and a fine up to $5,000 for each charge.
Defenses Against Forgery
In order to convict a person for forgery, the prosecutors must prove that a defendant committed every element of the crime:
- That the defendant made, altered, forged, or counterfeited a written instrument
- That the written instrument falsely purports to be another person or entity
- That the document appears to have some kind of legal significance
- And that it was made with the intent to defraud or injure another person
The most common defense against forgery is that the defendant lacked the intent to defraud or injure another person when creating a document. Patently ridiculous writings are also a defense to forgery. For example, a false deed for land on Jupiter is not criminal forgery. Affirmative defenses such as acting under duress or insanity are also applicable defenses against the crime of forgery. An experienced criminal defense attorney will know how best to defend you against the charge of forgery and will be there to protect your rights through every step of the case.
Call a Criminal Defense Attorney Now
The seriousness of a forgery charge cannot be understated, and oftentimes prosecutors will try and add crimes like counterfeiting, uttering, or identity theft to the existing charge of forgery in order to increase punishment for the accused crime. The West Palm Beach criminal defense attorneys at the Skier Law Firm will aggressively defend your rights with decades worth of experience. Call the office or contact us today to schedule a free consultation of your case.