Forgery O.C.G.A. 16-9-1
What You Need to Know about a Forgery Charge in Atlanta Georgia
You may have merely changed a date or a check. You may have been in a rush and signed your family member’s name on a document. You may have done nothing wrong at all. Whatever the reason, you have been charged with forgery according to the Georgia statute 16-9-1.
If you or a loved one is charged with forgery in Atlanta Georgia, it is vital to know more about the charge to fight it. For instance, forgery is classified in four degrees. Each degree has its own elements and punishment. First degree forgery is the most serious of the four forgery degrees.
An Atlanta Georgia Forgery Charge Involves the Intent to Defraud an Alleged Victim
To be charged with forgery means you are accused of intentionally defrauding a victim. Defrauding them may involve deceiving, injuring or tricking an alleged victim to get money or something of value. The act of defrauding ranges from signing a fake document to creating one.
Forgery is further broken down into degrees:
- First degree forgery involves the intent to defraud by knowingly altering, making or possessing any type of written document other than a check. The document has a fake name or altered information to allegedly give you the authority to do something.
- Second degree forgery is the intent to defraud by knowingly possessing, making or altering a document in such a way that the person received authority or something of value they would not normally receive. This does not include a written check.
- Third degree forgery involves the intent to defraud by possessing, altering, uttering, delivering or making a check written in the amount of $1,500 or more. For example, you are accused of using a fake name or altered check to obtain money.
- Fourth degree forgery involves the intent to defraud by doing the same thing as third degree forgery. The main difference is the check amount is for less than $1,500.
The penalty for each forgery degree is:
- First degree forgery is punishable by one to 15 years in prison
- Second degree forgery is punishable by one to five years in prison
- Third degree forgery is punishable by one to five years in prison
- Fourth degree forgery is a misdemeanor. It is punishable by 12 months in county jail
Defending Your Forgery Charge in Atlanta Georgia
A strong defense begins with understanding your charge. Once you know more about the criminal charge, you can understand more about defenses. For example, legal significance is a type of defense. The driving idea behind creating a fake document or signature is to have a legal significance. The fake document might be worth money or transfer property. This is the legal significance.
If the document or anything you allegedly forged has no legal significance, you are not guilty of the crime.
The document was actually not false. With this defense, you have to show that the prosecutor was wrong about allegedly the document was false. If you can do this, you may be able to get the charge dropped.
No intent to defraud is another defense. You claim you had no intent to defraud anyone of any money, credit or power.
Mistaken identity is another defense. You are not guilty because you did not prove a fake document. Someone else actually provided the false document and you are getting blamed for it.
The actual innocence defense is that you did not commit the crime at all. You may not an alibi, but you have another way to prove that you are innocent.
Lack of evidence is the type of defense that makes the state show their evidence. You claim they do not have the evidence to take the case to court. You challenge the evidence and tell them they have no evidence. If they do not, they make drop the charges. It really depends on how weak their evidence is against you.
Insufficient evidence is different than lack of evidence. Insufficient evidence means the state does not have the proper evidence to convict you or a crime. This is another way to get the charges dropped against you.
If the defenses listed are not defenses you can use, do not worry. You do have other defenses available to you. You just have to figure it out with the help of your attorney.
Contact Georgia Defense Force, LLC to Fight Your Atlanta Georgia Forgery Charge
You or your loved one is accused of forgery in Atlanta Georgia. Now that you know more about the charge, it is time to fight the charge. The first step in fighting the charge consists of hiring an attorney. With the help of an attorney, you can come up with a strong defense and have your legal rights protected.
You have plenty of defenses available to fight your charge. One defense is showing you had no intent to defraud an alleged victim of their property. The intent is vital to this charge because state law requires you to commit this crime with the intent to financially harm the alleged victim.
Another legal defense is that your alleged forgery did not have any legal significance. Legal significance involves the forged document being worth money or something of value like a line of credit. If the forged document did not provide you with legal significance, you cannot be charged with this crime.
Let’s start working on your case today. We offer a free case evaluation. The sooner we can start working on your case, the sooner you can put this terrible situation behind you. Contact us.