In the state of Louisiana, forgery could occur at any given time and is considered a crime punishable by law. It could as well involve different kinds of documents. No matter what the forgery cases could be, there is one thing they all have in common which is the fact a prosecutor would have to prove beyond all doubt that the crime was committed and gain a conviction.
When you make, alter, use or even possess a wrong piece of writing on a document.
Making a fake document involves the defendant's behavior towards that particular document. The prosecutor would be required to show and prove that the defendant was the one who altered, executed, made, authenticated or even completed any form of writing that was not supposed to be so or passing as someone else who did not authorize such. It could include forging a person’s signature on a Blanco check from their checkbooks. It could also include the alteration of a date to fit a specific need or make it seem that an event occurred a lot earlier or later than it actually did. It could also be forging a copy of any original document which doesn’t exist in the first place. A good example is making a forged copy of an automobile insurance policy given you don’t have one and aren’t covered.
It is important to notice the different ways in which a person could forge a document because if caught by the law, ignorance is usually not a good excuse to fall back on and that is why a good criminal defense attorney would be necessary in defending you at court. Even going as far as forging the signature of your grandparent would be prosecuted by the law because of the potential damage it could cause on her legal rights. However, doing something like signing a friend's name on a birthday card and so forth is not considered an offense and has no serious penalty attached to it.
There are certain writings that are considered a forgery and for any writing to be considered as forgery, it must possess two characteristics. The first one being that they must be of a legal significance and that they are false. It is easier to determine if a writing is on a legal scale than finding out if the defendant was the actual perpetrator of the crime. The prosecutor is required to show the writing in question and find a way to prove both of the above categories.
As mentioned earlier, the writing is required to have legal significance and that includes government-issued documentation as well as legal documentation. That means it ranges from a driver’s license to wills, deeds of sales and even medical prescriptions. The main factor is that whichever document is in question has a legal significance. That goes to show that while a document is legal or government assigned, as long as it has rights to legal rights and obligations, forgery would be punished by the law.
Some other examples include recommendation letters for a job or even a false college application. Writing that isn’t considered a crime as mentioned would be birthday cards, get well cards, note to the sitter and so on.
The writing must be false and for it to be, that means the defendant had intentionally made an alteration or fabricated the documents in a way that could lead to the other person being a victim of forgery and making others believe that that same document is something it’s not or that it represents something that isn’t true.
Now don’t get it confused as a little error makes in a document does not mean it is false. It is only false when it is made intentionally to mislead whoever the reader could be.
A prosecutor must be able to prove that a defendant took the action in other to defraud a person or an organization. It is important to know that the intent of defrauding a person is not the same as actually succeeding to defraud that person. A prosecutor is required to prove that was what the defendant intended to do by creating a false letter or documents of anything. It is also to be proved that whoever posses or signs fraudulent documents without knowledge is free from any criminal liability. A good example is, when you buy a car and find out that the documents have been fabricated by your seller, you wouldn’t be slapped with forgery charges because you had no intention to defraud anyone.
In the state of Louisiana, forgery usually leads to a fine which could be up to $5,000 or even a prison sentence of about 10 years. In some cases, both.
In a situation where the crime involves the knowledge of using a fake academic record by adding degrees or achievements you never earned, it could incur a penalty which is a fine of up to $5,000 or up to 6 months in jail or even both.
Forgery which invoices certificates or proof of insurance can carry its own penalties. Let’s say the offense has to do with the making and distributing of forged insurance documents, it carries various penalties such as a fine of $5000 or prison time of up to 5 years and in some cases, both.
Each state has its own forgery laws and even so, they are most likely going to be handled by a federal court sometimes especially if the forged document is a federal document such as a work visa or a passport or green card and the main purpose of the forgery was to defraud the federal government. This is why you need a great defense attorney to represent you in court.
If you have been charged with forgery or anything related to it, it is best you act fast in contacting a criminal defense attorney. Only a qualified lawyer with excellent experience can be able to provide you with the legal advice you need and how best a situation can be handled. Carl Barkemeyer offers you the representation you need in court and so much more. Contact us today.