What is Forgery?

Forgery is considered a white-collar felony crime. The criminal charge of forgery is made when a person creates or changes a document for illegal purposes. Most commonly, this charge is for using a fake signature on checks, identification cards, and legal documents. It is legal to make revisions to a document, however; the crime is committed when the change is unauthorized and the the intent is to defraud a person, business, financial institution, or commercial entity.

The crime of forgery can be a State or Federal crime depending upon the circumstances. Forgery can be deemed to have been committed through faking, altering or removing handwriting or text electronically or manually, including handwritten, photocopying, printing, or other means that are done to alter the implied ownership, control, or governance of finances, real property, and intellectual property.

Key Element of Forgery

The key element in proving forgery is the existence of reasonable proof that the act was done with an intention to deceive. Forgery is often committed as part of attempting fraud or larceny.

Examples of Fraud

  • Forged Signatures on checks, titles, loan applications, and other legal documents.
  • Forged Documents such as titles, wills, voter and ID cards. (also see counterfeiting)
  • Forged Creative Works includes fake works of art, memorabilia, and historical artifacts.
  • Forged Financial Instruments such as credit cards, checks, tax returns, etc.

Forgery in Georgia - OCGA § 16-9-1

  • (a) A person commits the offense of forgery in the first degree when with intent to defraud he knowingly makes, alters, or possesses any writing in a fictitious name or in such manner that the writing as made or altered purports to have been made by another person, at another time, with different provisions, or by authority of one who did not give such authority and utters or delivers such writing.
  • (b) A person convicted of the offense of forgery in the first degree shall be punished by imprisonment for not less than one nor more than ten years.

Do You Need a Lawyer?

Forgery charges in Georgia can result in imprisonment, fines, community service, and a life-long tarnished public record. Regardless of any evidence, our law firm can represent you to fight the charges. Our first goal is to have charges dismissed. If the prosecutor refuses to drop the forgery charges we can negotiate the matter, up to and including representation in a criminal trial.

What Should I Do Now?

You need to make an appointment with a forgery defense lawyer to discuss your situation. We can provide you with an understanding of what to expect and how we can help you.