Gertsburg Licata has substantial expertise in defending businesses and individuals against white-collar crimes of all varieties. Our attorneys have a wealth of knowledge vital to an effective defense or internal investigation. We obtain favorable results for our clients and our attorneys have the expertise and negotiation skills to get those results quickly.
Forgery is one of the common white-collar crimes our attorneys have experience investigating and litigating. Forgery can happen internally or externally in business and is a serious matter that can lead to major consequences for the victim and perpetrator.
What is Forgery?
Forgery is a white-collar crime and involves using someone else’s signature on checks, contracts, wills, or other documents. Forgery also can include altering an already signed document or possession of a false document with the intent to commit fraud.
Forgery is a felony offense in all 50 states. Forgery convictions carry different sentences depending on the type of document forged. Falsifying or forging government, legal or financial documents carry the heaviest penalties. The crime of forgery is taken very seriously by prosecutors and allegations can be made against politicians, individuals, and businesses.
It is in your best interest to immediately retain the best corporate legal counsel when accused of forgery. There are several elements that prosecutors must ensure are in place to get a conviction for forgery:
- The person accused must have made, altered, used, or possessed a forged document without a doubt
- The forged document has legal or financial significance
- There is evidence that the accused had the intent to defraud the victim
If prosecutors cannot prove there was intent to commit fraud, there is a reasonable likelihood of the case being dismissed, or a jury finding the defendant not guilty. Gertsburg Licata attorneys can investigate allegations of forgery and discover whether the evidence supports intent to defraud the business or other party.
Another defense against forgery is when the accused has obtained consent to sign a document on behalf of someone else. Forgery only occurs when there is no consent. If the person whose signature was allegedly forged testifies that the person signing their name had permission, the act of signing was not a forgery. Allegations of forgery can also be false accusations that attorneys with a proven record of accomplishment in corporate internal investigations can help resolve.
When evidence of forgery is obtained illegally by the police or prosecutors, Gertsburg Licata attorneys can fight for an individual’s constitutional rights. Evidence that is illegally obtained can be barred from being considered by juries or submitted to the court.
Penalties for Forgery
Penalties for forgery convictions will vary according to the state laws, federal laws, and other factors the judge will use to determine the correct sentence. Some penalties for forgery include jail or prison time, restitution, and thousands of dollars in fines. In Ohio, felony forgery penalties vary by degree of felony.
Having a team of attorneys defend your business against forgery claims is the best decision you can make for your company and your reputation. We do our best to settle matters outside of the courts and reach favorable solutions that avoid incarceration or hefty fines whenever possible.
For a confidential conversation with an experienced attorney, please contact us today.