Forgery describes a situation in which you altered a document and then used the falsified item to defraud someone. In Texas, a wide range of instances could be considered forgery, from forging a signature on a check without permission to changing a will to benefit you.
What Is Forgery Financial Instrument?
Forgery of a Financial Instrument in Texas means that an individual has knowingly and willingly falsified, encoded, counterfeited or embossed a financial document or notes. This type of forgery is specifically intended to defraud a victim financially.
If you’ve been accused of forgery in Texas, it’s essential to learn more about this crime and then contact a forgery attorney.
Is Forgery a Federal Crime?
Forgery is a serious crime in all fifty states, including Texas, so the state often prosecutes it. But it can also be a federal crime if it meets certain conditions.
For example, altering military documents, immigration documents or a government-issued ID can all be prosecuted at the federal level. Mailing falsified documents across states or even being accused of forgery in different states can also lead to federal charges of forgery.
If you’re worried about being charged with forgery at the federal level, contact Houston lawyer Seth Kretzer for legal help.
Is Forgery a Felony or Misdemeanor in Texas?
It’s common for clients to ask, “Is forgery a felony in Texas?” The classification depends on the details of the case, so sometime forgery is considered a felony. For example, if you’re accused of forging a deed, will, check, credit card, mortgage, contract or authorization for payment, you’re facing a state felony.
You might be facing a felony of the third degree if you’re charged with forging stocks, bonds, cash, stamps or a government record. If neither felony charge includes the type of forgery you’ve been accused of, you might be facing a misdemeanor forgery charge. Note that if the victim was a senior citizen, the charges will be increased to the next category, meaning a state felony could escalate to a third-degree felony.
Forgery Texas Penal Code 32.21
If you’re charged with forgery, Texas penal code 32.21 will be the guiding statute for the charges. This code defines forgery for you in case you’re not sure what you’re charged with or what you can expect from the case.
If you need additional clarification or help with a defense regarding your charges, you should talk to your forgery attorney. Houston white collar crimes lawyer, Seth Kretzer, will keep you informed on your case from start to finish, so contact us for help.
Forgery Punishment in Texas
The penalty for forgery in Texas depends on whether you’re charged with a felony or misdemeanor forgery.
- If your forgery charge is classified as a state felony, punishment could include jail for 18 months to 2 years, as well as fines up to $10,000.
- If it’s a felony of the third degree, the penalty is likely to be 2 to 10 years in prison, with fines up to $10,000.
- If you’re accused of misdemeanor forgery, you could get either up to one year in jail, fines up to $4,000 or both.
How to Get Forgery Charges Dismissed or Dropped
If you don’t want to face jail time or fines, you should work on getting your forgery charges dismissed. A forgery attorney can work with you throughout your defense.
It’s possible that you’ve been falsely accused of forging a signature without permission, and the representation of a forgery attorney can help you prove your innocence. Another possible defense is that you acted in good faith, as you believed you were authorized to change or sign the document in question.
If you’re ready to start your forgery defense, contact the Law Offices of Seth Kretzer today to schedule a consultation.