Individual charged with having committed forgery is likely to have been accused of having made modifications to or unlawfully signing someone else's name to some type of document. Documents most apt to be altered include identification cards or driver's licenses, checks, contracts, legal forms or certificates.
Forgery is considered a crime in that individuals use these unauthorized signatures or falsified documents to illegally obtain something of value, all the while with the intention of deceiving another. Forgery is often a crime that is not prosecuted by itself, but instead together with other crimes such as larceny or fraud.
Most jurisdictions require that the prosecutors bringing forward the charges against a defendant first establish that he or she had intentions of deceiving others with his or her actions.
From a historical perspective, forgery has long been practiced, especially in the fine art and literary world. There are cases in which writings reportedly from famous political leaders or philosophers from one era have later been identified as fakes written decades later by someone completely different. Famous artwork from DaVinci and Picasso have been sold as originals only to later been identified as mere reproductions.
In recent years, checks, professional licenses, legal contracts, diplomas, or driver's licenses have been used to acquire jobs, certifications, merchandise or hard cold cash when the individual had no legal right to do so.
An individual can even be charged with forgery in connection with an identity theft case. This often occurs when a defendant illicitly obtains another's personal identifying information, whether it was stolen or lost. When the individual uses that data to obtain either government or financial benefits, they too are engaging in forgery.
Forgery is seen as a serious crime in the United States. If you're convicted of such a crime, then the sentence that you'll face will largely depend on the value of goods or services obtained and how involved your forgery scheme was.
A conviction for forgery is a crime of moral turpitude that can greatly impact your ability to either secure or retain employment. If you've been charged with forgery, then a Clinton, Maryland, federal crimes attorney can provide guidance in your legal matter.
Source: FindLaw, "Forgery," accessed Nov. 24, 2017