February 25, 2009 By Wallin & Klarich

New California Appeals Court Ruling Underscores The Need For An Experienced Criminal Defense Attorney in Forgery Cases

A recent California Court of Appeals decision held that multiple forged signatures on a single document constitute only one count of forgery in California. In the matter of People v. Kenefick 2009 DJDAR 731, the Defendant was sentenced at trial to over 16 years in prison after she allegedly stole $890,000 from six victims, while purporting to run an investment company. Defendant was convicted by jury of 18 counts of theft, burglary, selling securities by false statement, and forgery.

On appeal, Defendant argued that two of the forgery counts should be vacated, and the sentence on those counts stayed. Defendant, through her California appeals attorney, argued that she could not be punished separately for forgery because the forgeries were part and parcel of the theft. The California Court of Appeals agreed. California Penal Code Section 654 prohibits multiple punishment for a single act or omission which may be punishable in different ways by different provisions of the Penal Code. The Court agreed with the Defendant that she harbored a single criminal objective in committing the forgery and theft. The Court held that the forgeries were merely initial steps in the plan to commit theft; as such it was improper for the trial court to allow separate convictions for those acts of forgery.

Hiring an experienced criminal defense law firm can greatly increase your chances of keeping your freedom, and ensuring you receive the lowest possible sentence. The attorneys at Wallin & Klarich have been helping people for over 30 years.

Please feel free to contact an Orange County white collar crime defense attorney Wallin & Klarich to discuss your case. You can reach us 24 hours a day, 7 days a week at 877-466-5245 or go to our website at wklaw.com for more information.

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