Forgery can mean a lot of different actions. It is not limited to merely creating or altering money. Forgery may be as simple as signing another person’s name. Forgery could be as simple as creating a fake postage stamp. Under Texas law, Forgery is broad enough that it could include some computer crimes or hacking, or even creating fake Chuck E. Cheese tokens. Not only is the type of conduct that is criminalized broad, but there are a variety of punishments available depending on what happened.
What does forgery entail?
Forgery is listed in section 32.21 of the Texas Penal Code.
To forge means to:
(A) to alter, make, complete, execute, or authenticate any writing so that it purports:
(i) to be the act of another who did not authorize that act;
(ii) to have been executed at a time or place or in a numbered sequence other than was in fact the case; or
(iii) to be a copy of an original when no such original existed;
(B) to issue, transfer, register the transfer of, pass, publish, or otherwise utter a writing that is forged within the meaning of Paragraph (A); or
(C) to possess a writing that is forged within the meaning of Paragraph (A) with intent to utter it in a manner specified in Paragraph (B).
Writing includes a lot of different things, an incomplete list is:
Money, coins, stamps, seals, cards, badges, certain symbols, a printing, or any other method of recording information (e.g. computer documents).
Prosecutors have to prove that a person forged a writing with intent to defraud or harm another.
Unless, special circumstances exist, a forgery offense is a Class A Misdemeanor, which is punishable by a year in jail, a fine up to $4,000.00, or both.
If the allegedly forged writing is a will, codicil, deed, deed of trust, mortgage, security instrument, security agreement, credit card, check, authorization to debit an account at a financial institution, or similar sight order for payment of money, contract, release, or other commercial instrument, then the offense is a state jail felony, which is punishable by six months to two years in a state jail and a fine not to exceed $10,000.00.
The offense is a third degree felony (punishable by two to ten years incarceration and a fine not to exceed $10,000.00) if the alleged forgery is part of an issue of money, securities, postage or revenue stamps; certain government records; or other instruments issued by a government or part of an issue of stock, bonds, or other instruments representing interests in or claims against another person.
If the purported victim is an elderly person, then the offense is increased to the next highest offense.
If you or a loved one have been charged with forgery, call 817-231-0023 to set up an appointment to discuss your case. Often it will be necessary to find an expert to review the State’s theory. Time may be very important. The longer time we have to prepare your case the more thorough we can be in analyzing the State’s case.