Need to Hire a Forgery & Financial Crimes Lawyer in Lancaster, PA?
Forgery-related charges may not seem like a big deal to some people. But the fact remains that if you are convicted of a forgery charge, you could face up to 10 years in prison and a $25,000 fine, depending on the forged item. Don’t lose those years of your life behind bars or face the repercussions of having a misdemeanor or felony on your record.
Let our financial crimes lawyer help defend you. We can help determine whether forgery was at play and whether the intent was to defraud or injure someone else. Perhaps you believed you had permission to alter a document, so you did not intend to commit forgery. No matter the circumstances, our forgery lawyer is here to help you! Get in touch with us today!
What Is Forgery?
Forgery is a white-collar crime when a person intentionally or knowingly attempts to defraud someone else or cause harm through fabrication and imitation. A person charged with the financial crime of forgery must deliver something they know is a forgery, have a hand in creating, transferring, or distributing forgery, or alter someone else’s writing without their permission.
Deception isn’t necessarily a component of forgery, but to be charged with this crime, you must have completed an act of forgery with the intent to defraud. Because the nuances of this law are so complex, you need a financial crimes lawyer to help defend your rights and possibly prevent fines, probation, and jail time.
Some Examples of Forgery Include:
- Altering a check without someone’s permission
- Creating a false document from scratch or altering a genuine document in a material way
- Passing off a document you know is forged as legitimate
- Reproducing any document, signature, banking note, or work of art
- Altering documents such as academic transcripts, real estate deeds, money orders, or wills
Penalties for Forgery Crimes in Pennsylvania
You can face severe penalties if you are charged with forgery for writing bad checks, submitting forged documents, or altering a legal document. The severity of the penalty depends on the monetary value of the forged item or whether it involves a legal or government document. No matter the consequences, you need a financial crimes lawyer to help defend you in court.
Forged Items Worth Less than $200
If the value of the forged item is less than $200, you face the least severe consequences. Generally, it’s considered a summary offense with a maximum jail time of 90 days.
Forged Items Worth Between $200 & $500
You’ll need a forgery attorney to help you with a third-degree misdemeanor if the value of the forgery is between $200 and $500. The maximum penalty for this level is one year in prison.
Forged Items Worth Between $500 & $999
Once your forgery reaches a value of $500 to $999, you get upgraded to a second-degree misdemeanor and up to three years in prison. Get in touch with a financial crimes attorney for help.
Forged Items Worth more than $1,000
When the value of the forged items is more than $1,000, the forgery charges are generally classified as a first-degree misdemeanor. At this level, you face up to five years in prison and a $10,000 fine.
Forgery Items Involving Documents of a Legal matter
Altering a will or contract without permission or any other forgeries involving legal documents are third-degree felonies. Convictions of this level lead to up to seven years in jail and a $15,000 fine.
Forged Items Involving Government Documents
Committing mail fraud, altering driver’s licenses, or forging postage stamps carries a second-degree felony charge. Those found guilty face up to 10 years in prison and a $25,000 fine.
If you have previously been found guilty of forgery and are convicted again, the penalties generally increase from those listed here. Whether it’s your first offense or more, get in touch with our financial crimes lawyer today for help.
Get Help from Our Experienced Forgery & Financial Crimes Lawyer in Lancaster, PA
Financial crimes and forgery charges are not to be addressed alone. Get the representation you deserve from our financial crimes lawyer. We’ll prepare for a courtroom battle from day one and help to get you the justice you deserve. Fill out the form below to get started, and we’ll be in contact with you soon!