Forgery Criminal Defense Attorney in Sacramento, California

Forgery is labeled as a white-collared crime in the California Court of Law. It is a penal crime under Fraud. Most cases of forgery might look like simple acts of wrongdoing but sometimes the penalties can have a great impact on the life of the accused. When you are being charged with forgery in Sacramento, California, it is very important to work with reliable forgery criminal defense lawyers to help you with your case.

The penalties for someone who has been charged with a white-collar crime can vary greatly on the impact or scale of the crime. The penalties can be as easy as home detention or community confinement. It can also be in the form of fines, forfeitures, and/or restitution. A severe act of white-collar crimes can have a drastic penalty of imprisonment with a minimum of 1 year in state or federal prison for felony cases, and it can be less for misdemeanor cases. The court may also impose a fine of $1,000 to over $10,000 depending on its severity.

In this article, we’re going to tackle and dive deep into the cases of Forgery. We’re going to discuss the following: 

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What is Forgery?

A forgery is a white-collared crime determined by the California Court of Law. According to California Penal Code Section 470 PC, forgery occurs when the suspect or accused has a specific intent to defraud one person to gain benefits. This includes altering a document, seal, or counterfeiting important documents which can be or are part of a fraud scheme. 

A forgery crime can be as simple as faking or falsifying a legal document that might benefit the accused or suspect and might take advantage of the victim. Most cases of forgery happen on older people – where they are asked to write a will then falsify the signature of the victim to take advantage of their current state.

In order for a forgery crime to be successful, at least one of the following actions must be taken place:

  • Knowingly signing other people’s names without authority.
  • Counterfeiting or copying another person’s handwriting or official seal on a document.
  • Changing or falsifying legal documents such as property conveyances, court records, will, or any other legal and formal writings that can be used as solid evidence in the court of law. 
  • Tampering any of the following legal documents: 
  • Bonds 
  • Traveler’s check
  • Money order
  • Checks
  • Bank bills and notes
  • Legal deed of the property
  • Official lottery tickets
  • Real property lease
  • Formal contracts 
  • Certificates of stock
  • And other items listed in the statute.

In some cases, the accused of forgery isn’t the only one who can be under prosecution for forgery, because people or acquaintances who published and benefited from the deceitful acts can be liable as well. Such an example is if a man faked a signature under a financial check. He then gave it to his family who is aware of the falsified check. If a family member uses the fraudulent check to shop or to pay for some things in the store, they can also be liable for the forgery case even though they did not personally commit the falsification of the check.

To prove that the defendant committed forgery, a prosecutor must be able to establish that:

  1. The defendant committed one of the forgery acts listed above, and;
  2. He or she acted with the specific intent to defraud someone else, an institution, or a group of people.


Proving The Forgery 

In order for the accused or suspect to be the convict of forgery, the prosecutors must be able to clearly establish good evidence of forgery. 

The prosecutors can also establish that the accused or suspect has a clear motive to deceive the victim. It can be through an act of defrauding someone to gain benefit or advantage over the victim. When the prosecutors established the latter ground, a forgery case can be submitted even when the action is not completed. An example is when the accused was found guilty of falsifying a check document even when he/she did not get any financial amount because of incomplete action. 

A forgery can continue even when there is no actual person defrauded or no one suffers from property loss.



Just like mentioned earlier, most white-collared fraudulent crimes such as forgery are often deemed as non-violent which is also highly dependent on the severity of the crime. The prosecutor will often or most likely prosecute the suspect with either a misdemeanor offense or a case of a felony crime.


Possible Legal Defense

There are multiple ways your forgery criminal defense attorneys may establish a lack of evidence for the charge. Based on the actual scenarios and evidence presented, your attorney can establish the following legal defense: 

  • Falsely accused of forgery
  • Coerced or forced confession
  • Not aware that the legal document/evidence is falsified.
  • Permission to sign legal documents on behalf of the victim


Forgery Statutes

There are different forgery statutes that also have their own penalties. Forgery statutes include the signing of other people’s names, falsifying names, or using a falsified document to gain an advantage over another. The greater the scale of the forgery committed, the higher of possible penalties imposed.


Work with Competent Forgery Criminal Defense Attorney

The bearing of the legal defense will vary depending on a case-to-case basis. It is of utmost importance to talk and work with your Fraud or Forgery criminal defense attorney or team to create the best possible legal defense to lower the possible penalties and/or win the case.

The Chastaine Jones has a team of dedicated and expert white-collar crime lawyers with decades of experience to help and educate clients. By working with these professional attorneys, the clients can have security and ensure that the legal charges pressed will be explained carefully and thoughtfully. 

We also offer confidential case consultation so you can explain your case beforehand and we can provide better insight and possible options for your case. 

If you are charged with any crimes such as  forgery, fraud, or other white-collar crime in Sacramento County, which includes Gold River, Rancho Cordova, Folsom, and other surrounding areas, feel free to give us a call to find out how we can help you with your case.