Forgery Attorney Los Angeles
If you or a loved one have been charged with forgery, you should immediately contact Los Angeles Forgery Attorney at The H Law Group. Our forgery attorneys are experienced and will help you achieve the best possible outcome in your case. Forgery is punished harshly even though it’s considered to be a white-collar crime because it may cause a big financial loss to the victim of your conduct. As such, hiring an experienced forgery attorney is imperative to safeguard your legal rights. So, if you’re looking for a forgery attorney in Los Angeles, look no further than The H Law Group. Schedule your free consultation by calling us at (213) 370-0404.
What is Forgery?
California Penal Code Section 470 makes it a crime to knowingly alter, create, or use a written document with the intent to commit fraud. Said differently, making or altering a document to commit fraud and gain anything of value is a crime in the State of California. The Los Angeles, criminal defense attorneys at The H Law Group have experience defending clients against forgery charges, so if you’ve been charged with forgery, we have attorneys who will represent you to the best of their abilities. Also, some of our attorneys are former prosecutors, so they know how the system works, and they will use their knowledge to defend you throughout the criminal process.
For the prosecution to prove that you’re guilty of forgery, it must show that you had the specific intent to defraud another person of money or property. For example, if you alter the numbers on a check to increase the amount that’s payable to you, you have committed fraud. The prosecution will use the fact that you changed the numbers to show your guilty mind. Also, it might use any incriminating statements that you made against you. So, if you’ve been arrested, do not make any incriminating statements because the prosecution will use them against you.
CPC 470 states explicitly that forgery occurs when the following things occur:
- A person signs the name of another person or a made-up person
- A person counterfeits a seal or forges the handwriting of another
- A person alters or falsifies a will, codicil, or judgment
- A person falsely makes, alters, or forgest certain documents, such as checks, money orders, and property deeds
Examples of Forgery
There are many examples of forgery, but here a few common examples that we’ve handled.
If a person takes his brother’s personal check and signs his brother’s name to a check without the knowledge of his brother and hands it to the teller to deposit into his account, he may be convicted of check fraud, as well as forgery. The prosecution will be able to prove forgery because he forged his brother’s signature onto the check and handed it over to the teller for deposit.
If a person wants to commit credit card fraud and so he counterfeits or adds the California State Seal to an official document without the government’s consent to do so and files the document with the County Recorder’s Officer he may be charged with and convicted of forgery under California Penal Code Section 470.
If a person has a grandmother who he takes care of and one day he locates her will and crosses out his uncle’s name and replaces it with his name so that he receives a more substantial inheritance, he may be charged with and convicted of forgery under CPC Section 470 because he forged the document by adding his name to a legal instrument in order to obtain property that did not belong to him.
If a person falsifies or forges a property deed and then proceeds to file the falsified deed with the county recorder’s office, he can be charged with and convicted of forgery under this section.
Defenses to California Forgery
1) No Intent to Defraud
A good Los Angeles forgery attorney will argue that you did not have the intent to commit fraud at the moment you forged our counterfeited the document. For example, your attorney may be able to argue that you thought the changes were legal to make and that therefore you did not have the intent to defraud anyone else.
2) Falsely Accused
If the facts of your case support this argument, your attorney may be able to argue that you are being falsely accused of forgery. If the facts of your case do not support showing that you committed forgery, your attorney will bring this up and argue that the charges against you should be dropped or reduced to holes in the prosecution’s case against you.
Penalties for Committing Forgery in the State of California
The crime of forgery is a wobbler in California. This means that the prosecution can charge it as either a misdemeanor or a felony. Usually, if the forgery involves $950 or less, misdemeanor charges are brought against an individual. However, if the amount of fraud associated with the forgery is greater than $950, the prosecution will likely bring felony charges. So, if you’ve been charged with forgery in California, you should contact the California forgery attorneys at The H Law Group to represent you in court. They have the experience and knowledge necessary to achieve the best possible outcome for you. If convicted of misdemeanor forgery, you face up to one (1) year in jail, and/or having to pay a fine of up to $1,000. You may also be ordered three (3) years of informal probation. However, if you’re convicted of felony forgery, you can be sent to jail for up to three (3) years and/or have to pay a fine of up to $10,000. Also, you may be placed on formal probation, which requires you to check in with your probation officer periodically.
Immigration Consequences For Forgery in California
A conviction for forgery can have negative immigration consequences because it shows that you’re not of good moral character. After all, the crime of fraud involves lying, which shows that you’re using deceit to obtain money or property. This is something that is frowned upon at the office of immigration and naturalization. Having a conviction for forgery can lead you to be deported or being marked as inadmissible to the United States of America.
Can You Get a Forgery Conviction Expunged?
Yes, you can get a forgery conviction expunged if you complete your jail term and your probation. You can even have it expunged even if you violated the terms of your probation, so long as you’ve completed your probation.
Forgery Attorney in Southern California and Los Angeles
If you’ve been charged with or are being investigated for forgery in Los Angeles or Southern California, you should contact forgery attorney at The H Law Group. They have experienced forgery attorneys who will assist you in fighting your forgery charges and achieving a favorable outcome in your case. Schedule your free consultation today by filling out the contact form below or by calling us at 1 (213) 370-0404.