Forgery Charges in Scranton

Qualified Assistance from a Scranton Criminal Defense Lawyer

We depend on written instruments to create legally-binding agreements for everything from business deals to waivers of liability to establishing identity. However, written documents have a flaw: they can be copied, altered, or created to deceive or defraud someone else for personal gain. Therefore, creating one of these instruments has been deemed illegal through a crime known as “forgery.” Forgery is an extremely serious charge in Pennsylvania, and could subject those who are convicted to serious and possibly life-changing penalties.

Those who are accused of forgery should not hesitate to obtain qualified, experienced counsel from a Scranton criminal defense attorney without delay, as you only have a limited amount of time to start building your case. At the Law Offices of William D. Thompson, we are personally invested in your success, and we don’t stop until we have helped you reach the best possible outcome. We believe a solid relationship between our clients and their attorney is extremely important to a successful case, and we pride ourselves on providing the highest-levels of client service, including 24/7 availability. Our long record of successful outcomes and dedication to ethical practices has earned us numerous accolades, including selection as one of the Top 100 Trial Lawyers by The National Trial Lawyers.

Call the Law Offices of William D. Thompson today at (570) 666-1068 to schedule a case evaluation if you or a loved one are facing accusations of forgery!

What is a “Written Instrument?”

The crime of forgery involves the use of a “written instrument” which is in essence some form of documentation. Forged documents are ones that are created without authorization or permission with the intent to defraud or injure another person in some way. Nearly any sort of official document can be forged, including those created for private use or issued by the government.

Some common acts of forgery include:

  • Signing another person’s name on a check
  • Cashing a forged check at the bank
  • Creating a fake real estate deed to falsify your ownership claim
  • Altering a financial or business document, such as a promissory note or deal agreement
  • Creating a fake ID to gain access to another person’s personal property or money
  • Creating a fake driver’s license to purchase alcohol or tobacco while underage

Degrees of Forgery

Forgery is a “wobbler” crime, which means it can be charged as either a misdemeanor or a felony, depending on the nature of your crime or how much property was taken through the use of the forged document.

Misdemeanor of the First Degree
These are the least serious forgery charges, which include things like forging personal checks, cashing knowingly-bad checks, and more. However, even these seemingly-minor infractions can carry heavy penalties; up to five years in jail and fines of up to $10,000.

Felony of the Third Degree
Felony forgery involves the use of a written instrument like a deed, contract, release, or other document that transfers ownership, alters, or terminates property or legal relationships. This also includes affecting the inheritance of property through a false will or trust. Third degree felony forgery can carry up to seven years in prison and a fine of up to $15,000.

Felony of the Second Degree
Felony of the second degree forgery includes crimes involving forging government-issued documents, such as paper money, bonds, securities, and postage stamps. Second-degree felony charges will also be issued for forging documents pertaining to businesses, including stocks, bonds, or certificates of interest in a business partnership. The penalties for second-degree felony forgery include up to 10 years in prison and a fine up to $25,000.

Get help with your felony forgery charges from a qualified attorney! Contact the Law Offices of William D. Thompson online now and let us review your legal options with you.

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