In Texas, forgery is defined as creating, altering, or utilizing any falsified document with the intent to harm or defraud an individual. Documents include paperwork and items including coins, stamps, credit cards, seals and trademarks.
Examples of Forgery
Forgery occurs when an individual signs or alters another person’s name in order to falsify the authenticity of an item. The crime of forgery is committed under the following circumstances:
- Someone records one or more false entries.
- An Individual presents a forged item as true, which is called “uttering.”
- Someone possesses a forged document with the intent to utter it.
Defending Forgery Charges
In a court of law, a defendant typically defends himself from charges of forgery using the following tactics:
- Lack of intent: The defendant had no intention to pass the inauthentic item off as true.
- Age: The defendant might be a minor, which will garner a lighter penalty.
- Authenticity: The writing on a document is original.
Penalties for Forgery
In Texas, the penalties for forgery depend on the severity of the charges. If the forgery involves a will, deed, mortgage or financial document, an individual will be charged with a state felony. Forgery involving stocks, bonds and government records carry a third-degree charge. Crimes that are not in the state or third-degree categories are Class A misdemeanors. Any forgery against an elderly person is elevated to a higher level.
State laws are subject to change. Call Law Office of LaHood & Calfas, PLLC for more information on Texas forgery laws and any other legal questions you may have.