If you have been charged with forgery, our attorneys can help you. Forgery in Arizona is a felony and it is a serious offense. Fortunately, it is categorized as a non-dangerous offense and as such, prosecutors have quite a bit more flexibility to negotiate plea agreements.
That being said, if the accused has felony prior convictions, forgery is the type of charge that can send someone to prison for multiple years.
In order to be convicted of forgery, the prosecutor must prove two things to the jury. They first must establish that the accused was either in possession of or made a forged “instrument.”
An instrument is just a fancy term for a document, form or identification. You have to either make the “instrument” or possess it. But that by itself isn’t enough. That person must also have the intent to defraud another person. So, scribbling out a fake IOU to a person for a large amount of money isn’t necessarily a crime if it is done a joke and there was never any intent to defraud. Prosecutors must prove that the creation or alteration of the “instrument” was done to to defraud another.
This crime is classified as a class 4 felony that carries with it a maximum penalty of almost four years in prison for a first offense. Our team has won many forgery cases in Arizona. We understand what it takes to win a forgery case and how to best present your defense to get you the best result. You can know that when you hire us, we know exactly how to get started defending your case.
Here is the statute for forgery in Arizona:
A. A person commits forgery if, with intent to defraud, the person:
1. Falsely makes, completes or alters a written instrument; or
2. Knowingly possesses a forged instrument; or
3. Offers or presents, whether accepted or not, a forged instrument or one that contains false information.
B. The possession of five or more forged instruments may give rise to an inference that the instruments are possessed with an intent to defraud.
C. Forgery is a class 4 felony, except that if the forged instrument is used in connection with the purchase, lease or renting of a dwelling that is used as a drop house, it is a class 3 felony. For the purposes of this subsection, “drop house” means property that is used to facilitate smuggling pursuant to section 13-2319.
Forgery and fraud are common white collar criminal charges which call for the experienced advocacy of a criminal defense attorney who has handled similar cases. Forgery in Arizona involves the alteration of any written instrument.
Typical cases included the alteration of checks, contracts or other documents. While forgery in Arizona is a class 4 felony it is very rare for a first time forgery conviction to result in long prison sentences. Usually probation is available. Jail time may be imposed as a condition of probation, however.
Please contact one of our criminal defense lawyers to examine the specific details of your case.