West Palm Beach Forged Document Attorney
White collar crimes such as forgery or uttering forged documents are punished no less harshly than other crimes. In Florida, the penalties can be quite harsh since there is a general belief that such actions raise costs for everyone and harm the economic climate of the region.
In addition, there is also a chance you can be charged with the federal crime of forgery. Sentencing guidelines at the federal level tend to have mandatory minimum sentences if you’re convicted or plead guilty.
The West Palm Beach forged document attorneys at the Skier Law Firm have successfully managed forgery charges for our clients. If you’ve been charged with the crime of forgery or uttering forged documents, give us a call or contact us online and we will help you mount a solid defense.
Understanding the Crime of Uttering Forged Documents Under the Law
Forgery and uttering forged documents are both described in Florida Statute § 831.01 and § 831.02. Forgery is defined as the making or altering of any document that is used for legal purposes with the intent to defraud. Uttering a forged document entails the publishing or filing of phony information for the purpose of committing fraud. These are both considered third-degree felonies under Florida Law and you can be charged with both. Third-degree felonies are punishable by up to 5 years in prison. In addition, a criminal conviction will show up on your record for the rest of your life. The consequences of that can be problematic, to put it mildly.
In the case of forging documents, the prosecution must be able to prove that you did so with the intent to injure or defraud (though there are some cases where they do not need to prove that). In the case of uttering forged documents, the prosecution must prove you had knowingly forged the documents or knew that the information was false at the time you uttered them.
In some cases, if the defendant is accused of forging documents, the prosecution may only need to prove that another person would be injured by the forgery. This absolves them of the requirement to prove that you had a malicious intent.
In the case of uttering a forged document, the prosecution does not need to prove that someone was defrauded, only that the defendant made an attempt to defraud another. For instance, if a forged check is presented to the bank, it has been “uttered”. The prosecution must still prove that you willingly and maliciously uttered the document with the intent to injure or defraud.
In other words, they must prove that you knew that the document was a forgery.
Hire a West Palm Beach Forgery Defense Attorney
You may be charged with the crime of forgery or uttering a forged document even though you weren’t the one who forged the document. The prosecution must be able to show that you knew the document was a forgery. This can sometimes be proven using circumstantial evidence and other times through a confession. You will need a defense attorney to guide you through this process. There may be room to plead down or you may be able to beat the charges entirely. Give the Skier Law Firm P.A. a call or contact us online and we can begin preparing your defense today.