In California, under Penal Code section 470 every person who, with the intent to defraud, knowing that he or she has no authority to do so, signs the name of another person or of a fictitious person is guilty of forgery. Moreover, a person may be charged with forgery for intending to defraud someone by knowingly giving them a false check or other financial document, counterfeit money, a false lottery ticket, forged legal documents, a false driver’s license or identification, or by writing a bad check. Under the law, it does not matter whether the alleged victim was actually defrauded. It also does not matter whether the accused later paid back the alleged victim or made other restitution.
It is critical, however, that the prosecution must prove that the accused intended to defraud another person. Someone intends to defraud when he or she intends to deceive another person, or intends to cause a loss of money, goods, or something else of value. An individual accused of passing a bad check is eligible to enter a bad check diversion program instead of serving jail time. Depending on the circumstances of each case, other types of forgery can be charged as either a felony or a misdemeanor. A felony conviction carries prison time, whereas a misdemeanor carries up to a year in county jail. If the alleged forged check involved less than $950, a person will be charged with a misdemeanor offense of forgery.
Call the Fraud Attorneys at Wallin & Klarich
If you have been accused of fraud or forgery, you will need an experienced criminal defense attorney to vigorously represent you. At Wallin & Klarich, we have helped people accused of these crimes for over 30 years.
With offices in Los Angeles, Sherman Oaks, Torrance, Tustin, San Diego, Riverside, San Bernardino, Ventura, West Covina and Victorville, there is an experienced Wallin & Klarich criminal defense attorney near you no matter where you work or live.
Call us today at (888) 280-6839 for a free phone consultation. We will be there when you call.