Forgery (PC 470):
You can get arrested for forgery if you knowingly intended to commit any of the following: sign another person’s name on a document, fake someone’s handwriting, change or falsify a legal document (a will or deed), or fake a document pertaining to money, property, or finances. However, you are not guilty of the crime of forgery unless you intended to commit a fraud.
Penalties (PC 470):
In most cases, forgery is a “wobbler” in California. Depending on the circumstances of the case, and the amount of money it is worth, you may be charged with a misdemeanor or a felony. If worth $950 or less, you can be charged with a misdemeanor and be expected to serve a maximum county jail sentence of 1 year. If charged with a felony, the maximum jail sentence is 3 years.
Legal Defenses (PC 470):
Common legal defenses include: you did not intend to defraud anyone that you were falsely accused, and/or the document that was forged did not deprive anyone else of their legal rights. If you did not intend to defraud someone, you did not commit the California crime of forgery. We will work with the facts of your case to determine the best possible defense to have this charge reduced or dismissed.