You might think that forgery simply means instances where an individual signs another individual’s name on an official document, such as a checking withdrawal or a check. This is not incorrect. But forgery goes far beyond this example to include any instance where fraudulent information is used to misrepresent the true signer, recipient or information contained within an official document. This can cause many issues in the world of business law, such as rendering a contract unenforceable or invalidating an individual’s paycheck.
If you are accused of forging a document, it is important that you work with an experienced criminal defense lawyer to defend your case. If you suspect you are the victim of a forgery, work with an experienced business lawyer to help you seek justice for your losses.
Examples of Documents That Can Be Forged
Many documents can be forged in an attempt to defraud an individual or group of individuals. Examples of documents that can be forged for this purpose include:
- Court seals
- Wills and trusts
- Personally identifying documents, such as a bank statement, used to commit identity fraud
- Deeds and titles
Forgery can refer to a completely fabricated document or a document that has been altered to show fraudulent information. Forging or counterfeiting a document is a criminal offense, as is knowingly using or possessing a forged or counterfeit document.
Forgery as a Criminal Offense
Forgery is a criminal offense. Generally, forgery charges are charged at the state level, but they can be charged as federal crimes in certain circumstances. The details of your case determine whether the case will be tried in state or federal court and the applicable laws. In Wisconsin, forgery can be charged as a misdemeanor or a felony, depending on the type of document forged and the intended purpose of the forgery.
The penalties for a forgery conviction depend on the value of the money stolen or otherwise gained or intended to be gained through the forgery. This is not unlike how the penalties for convictions of other forms of theft are determined. Individuals who are convicted of forgery can face any of the following penalties:
- Restitution, which is the requirement that the defendant repay the money stolen to his or her victim
- Jail time
Work with an Appleton Business & Litigation Lawyer
When you are involved in a case regarding a forged document, it is important that you work with a civil litigation attorney who understands all aspects of your case and can effectively protect your rights and interests throughout the process. Contact our team of experienced business attorneys in Appleton at Hammett, Bellin & Oswald, LLC, to schedule your free legal consultation with a member of our firm. We are here to help you by answering your questions and giving you the legal guidance you need. Call 866-720-0009 toll free or email us to get started with our firm today.