Massachusetts Legal Developments Blog

The Consequences of Forgery

Janet is a little short on cash, so she slips into her grandmother's room and takes checks from her grandmother's purse, writes a check to herself for $700, and signs her grandmother's name. She goes to the bank and persuades the teller to cash the check. She visits the local mall and goes on a shopping spree by stealing grandma's money. She convinces herself it is not a crime since she was taking money from her grandmother. In the eyes of the law, though, Janet has committed a crime, and it is called forgery.

The above scenario occurs in numerous ways in real life, and the consequences can be serious. If you are charged with forgery or a related crime you should seek the counsel of a criminal defense attorney.

Forgery can be punished as a felony by the state, as well as by the federal government. Forgery happens when someone decides to alter, use, or possess a falsely written document to commit fraud. The crime of forgery involves documents with legal significance, and they may include:

  • Personal Checks

  • Court seals & records

  • Property Deeds & Titles

  • Currency

  • Money orders

  • Promissory notes

  • Official Identification Cards

Making a signature without authorization or allowing another individual to fraudulently sign a document is punishable under forgery laws. The crime of uttering is closely related to forgery. Some courts consider them the same. Forgery involves the creation of a false document, and uttering is the act of knowingly using a forged document.  A person can be charged with uttering when he or she knowingly circulates or uses a forged document created by another person. In order for forgery to be proven, the following factors must be present:

  • The document must have some form of legal significance

  • Changing or altering the appearance of document

  • Making or creating a false document

  • Having the potential of defrauding a normal individual

  • Possessing the intent to deceive or defraud.

If you are charged with felony forgery, you may face hefty fines, loss or suspension of certain privileges and may spend time in federal prison. In the Commonwealth, the punishment for committing forgery may include fines, jail or prison. The laws and punishment for forgery in Massachusetts are outlined in 267 Ma. Gen. Laws Ann. § 2.

If you have been charged with committing forgery, you need to contact a criminal defense attorney immediately. The consequences can be devastating and life-changing. Boston Criminal Defense Attorney, Edward Molari can provide you with legal advice that may help reduce the punishment or lessen the charge. He cares about your situation and provides personalized legal services in every case.  Contact Attorney, Edward Molari at 617-942-1532 for a free consultation.