Forgery is rarely seen as a serious crime, but falsifying, creating, or copying a document or signature with the intent to deceive or trick others is punishable by thousands of dollars in fines and years behind bars. Here’s what you need to know about forgery and the possible consequences you could face for a conviction.
What Is Forgery?
A person commits forgery in the third degree when they make, complete, or alter a written document or offer or possess a written document that the person knows to be forged, with intent to defraud. A few common examples of forgery include:
- An antique collector creating a false certificate of authenticity for a piece of art they are trying to sell online
- A patient signing a doctor’s name to get a prescription for medication
- An underage student using a fake ID to get into a bar
Connecticut’s laws punish forgery of certain official and financial documents more severely, including money, stocks, bonds, stamps, wills, deeds, contracts, public and government records and drug prescriptions.
It is also a crime to forge or possess a forged token, public transit transfer, or any other object used in place of money for the purchase of property or services with the intent to deceive or defraud others. This is called forgery of symbols of value and includes forging a bus or train pass.
Below are the consequences for a conviction of forgery:
- Forgery of symbols of value is a class A misdemeanor. Class A misdemeanors are punishable by up to one year in jail and a fine of up to $2,000.
- Forgery of official and financial documents is a class C or D felony, punishable by 1 to 10 years’ imprisonment and a fine of up to $10,000, or a state prison term of 1 to 5 years and a fine of up to $5,000.
- Otherwise, forgery is a class B misdemeanor, punishable by up to 6 months in jail and a fine of up to $1,000.
A conviction for forgery can have serious consequences, such as time in prison or jail, a fine, and a long-lasting criminal record. If you have been accused of a crime, contact our Connecticut criminal defense lawyers at The Sills Law Firm. Even if a person creates or changes a document, it is not considered forgery as long as they do not have the intent to defraud, and our attorneys will do everything they can to create a strong defense on your behalf.