Forgery is a crime that is divided into multiple levels and the corresponding punishments vary depending on what level of forgery you are charged with. Ryan is a fraud attorney who has prosecuted these exact crimes in the past. Let’s take a look at each level of forgery independently.
There are oftentimes several defenses to forgery charges. It may be that the check or writing is in fact authorized. You may be charged with having a fake check or writing, if it is real, then that is certainly a defense. It is important to have a Newnan forgery lawyer who can assist you in the process of handling your defense and help you ensure that any potential defenses you may have been examined.
Forgery in the first degree is the most serious of the forgery charges and carries the most significant punishments of all levels of forgery. Let’s take a look at an example of forgery in the first. Several years ago a lawyer was convicted of forgery in the first degree for presenting what was determined to be a falsified contract for legal services.
There is key language in the forgery in the first statute that sets it apart from forgery in the second. Simple possession of a forged document is sufficient to be convicted of forgery 2nd, but forgery in the first requires that the writing is uttered or delivered. That means that it needs to be presented in some fashion. In the case above, the lawyer presented the fraudulent document during a civil trial. A lawyer in Newnan could tailor a defense to your forgery case to avoid the most severe of punishments.
The language from forgery in the second is almost exactly the same except that it does not have “and utters or delivers such writing.”
For instance, let’s say that Tommie is looking to move to some new apartments. She has looked at the apartments but has learned from the property manager that she needs a reference from her previous property manager, on letterhead, saying that she was a good tenant.
Remembering her troubles from her previous apartments, Tommie is certain that the manager would not provide such a reference letter. Instead, Tommie goes home, creates fake letterhead, writes a fake recommendation, and signs a fake signature. By doing so she has committed forgery in the second.
Forgery in the third is the lowest level of felony forgery. Forgery in the third is probably the forgery charge that prosecutors charge the most often. The reason for that is two-fold. Many times when there is an alleged forgery it is in regards to a check that is written in an amount over $1,500. Oftentimes, if someone is accused of having made fraudulent checks they will often be charged with possessing more than ten of them.
Here is another example: John is pulled over in Newnan for speeding on his way to Carrollton. The officer asks to search John’s car and John gives consent to search his car. In the glove box, the officer finds a check for $2,500 drawn on a company out of Macon. The check is suspicious and the officer determines it is fraudulent. John will find himself charged with forgery in the third degree. If your forgery case sounds similar to this, an aggressive lawyer in Newnan can fight on your behalf to fight the charges.
Forgery in the fourth is structured identically to forgery in the third – it is just the misdemeanor version. It deals with checks of less than $1,500 and less than ten checks. The example from above works the same, just pretend that John’s check was written for $1,250.
If you or a loved one have been charged with forgery, don’t hesitate to contact us today so we can begin preparing your defense. A Newnan forgery lawyer is available and happy to help.
J. Ryan Brown Law, LLC