Los Angeles Forgery Defense Attorneys | LA Theft Crime Lawyers
The crime of forgery is very broad and encompasses many different acts of criminal deception. Most often, forgery usually involves the criminal act of signing the name of another without that person’s authority to do so, and/or altering or modifying a document with the intent to defraud, such as a will, trust or deed. Forgery is classified as a “wobbler” offense, meaning it can be prosecuted as either a misdemeanor or felony, depending on the aggravating circumstances in your case, such as your prior criminal history, the amount of the theft, as well as the sophistication of the crime. For example, if you opened a fraudulent credit card account in another’s name without his/her consent but did not make charges exceeding $950, you would likely be charged with misdemeanor forgery, as well as misdemeanor identity theft, assuming you had no prior criminal record. Conversely, if you fraudulently signed another’s name to secure a mortgage loan, you would likely be charged with a felony forgery and identity theft.
What Are The California Penalties For Forgery?
The penalties for a forgery conviction in California commonly involve the following:
- Imprisonment up to a 1 year in county jail on misdemeanors or up to 3 years in state prison on felony convictions.
- Summary (unsupervised) probation on misdemeanors or formal (supervised) probation on felonies.
- Fines, penalty assessments and victim restitution.
- Community service or labor.
Los Angeles Forgery Defense Experts
Since 1987, we have specialized in defending individuals accused of forgery, identity theft, and other forms of fraud. As former special prosecutors with the Los Angeles District Attorney’s office, we are familiar with the burden of proof prosecutors must meet in order to secure a conviction, which is why our defense approach to forgery allegations involve attacking the elements of the crime, such as whether you had the intent to defraud or proving you actually had the authority and consent to sign for another. Prosecutors, in order to build the criminal case against you, must establish these elements, which is why you must not answer questions from police or investigators if you find yourself accused of forgery. Conversely, if you made a poor decision and actually committed an act of forgery, our defense approach would be refocused on negotiating with prosecutors for reductions in charges and penalties through restitution agreements. The moment you suspect that you either are or may become a target in a criminal investigation, call us at (888) 579-4844 for a free consultation to discuss your case and options at our main office in West Los Angeles, or our satellite office locations in Torrance, Pasadena, Glendale, Long Beach, Encino, Woodland Hills, West Covina, Oxnard, Westlake Village, Huntington Beach, and Newport Beach.