Forgery Charges in Florida
The state of Florida takes accusations of forgery and forgery-related offenses extremely seriously. The state has criminalized forging documents and creating devices used for forgery. According to Florida law, an individual commits forgery when they alter, forge, counterfeit, or produce false documentation with the intent of defrauding another person. If you are being investigated for forgery it is in your best interest to seek out a Florida criminal defense attorney. While the charges you face should be considered extremely serious, the right attorney can make a world of difference as you fight for your freedom.
Forgery and Uttering
Similar to forgery, uttering is a serious criminal offense and can be considered a third-degree felony. Uttering most commonly occurs when someone signs another individual’s name on a check. Although the scope of this crime is broad and is generally considered using a document to defraud another person. In addition it is also uttering when you knowingly use a false instrument to injure another person. Those convicted of this crime can face up to five years in prison.
Both forgery and uttering are considered white collar crimes of dishonesty. It is important to note that even if a financial institution or government institution does not accept the forged document you present, you may still be charged with forgery. This is because you fulfilled the requiring of having the intent to injure another. However, it still must be proven that the individual accused of forgery had knowledge that the document was fraudulent. It will be up to the prosecutor to prove that the defendant knew they were presenting forged material. Among the most common documents forged include the following:
- A deal, will, or testament;
- A sales receipt for goods, property, or money;
- Tickets for transportation such as an airline or train ticket;
- Any public record, court order, notary public, or certificate.
While this list covers only a small list of the most notable documents to be forged, the list is far more extensive. According to Florida state law, the elements of forgery are as follows:
- The individual produced, forged, counterfeited, or altered;
- The document falsely purporting that you are another person;
- Falsifying a document that appears to have legal significance;
- The act is done with the intent to defraud another person.
Those convicted of third-degree felony forgery charges can face up to five years in prison and fines up to $5,000.
Contact Us for Professional Legal Assistance
It is important to understand the serious nature of forgery related charges. Under most circumstances, law enforcement can also charge individuals suspected of forgery with identity theft charges. If you are being investigated for forgery it is critical that you reach out to an experienced Florida criminal defense attorney. Your attorney will work with you to ensure you are being treated fairly and in accordance with the law. At the Baez Law Firm we understand of the severity of the charges you face and our experienced team is ready to advocate on your behalf. If you are in need of assistance give us a call at 305-999-5100 for a free consultation.