Forgery is known as the criminal act of creating, possessing, or use of false or altered documents, with the intent to defraud. This crime is a white-collar crime and is common among employees handling money or signing documents on behalf of an entire organization. Misusing such responsibility by falsifying or altering the organization’s documents for self-benefits can attract a conviction.
Anyone found altering, making, or using any writing or document to commit fraud against another person can be charged for fraud in Jefferson Parish. This crime is also known as document fraud- falsifying documents for self-benefit and to the detriment of another person. For these unlawful actions to qualify as forgery, it must be with the intent to defraud or it will be charged as an entirely different crime.
Forgery is taken as a serious crime in Jefferson Parish. If you are facing forgery allegations, it’s going to be a long road for you. The best help you can do for yourself is to hire a local attorney to defend your case because matters can get worse if you don’t have a defense attorney.
How Does Louisiana Define Forgery?
- The statute LA RS 14:72 states it unlawful to forge any signature or any part of any writing that has legal efficacy, with the intent to defraud. If you forge another person’s signature on a document (legal, financial, etc) in order to defraud them, you will face criminal penalties for forgery.
- If anyone possesses, issues, or transfers a writing or document that was forged with the intent to defraud someone, they have violated this statute. Under the state law, a “writing ” may mean a variety of things including coins, tokens, badges, credit cards, stamps money, printed material, as well as other methods of recording information.
- Documents or writing that count in a forgery charge must fulfill two characteristics. Firstly, the writing must have a legal significance. Examples of documents that have legal significance include government-issued documents like a driver’s license and other documents that can affect a person’s legal rights and obligations, as well as, legal documents like a will, a notarized deed, and deed of sale.
- Secondly, the writing must be false. If these two characteristics are fulfilled, the possessor or executor can be convicted of Forgery. For a writing or document to be false, it must have been altered, fabricated, or falsified intentionally, in a way to make the potential victim believe the document represents what it is not. It is worthy of note that a mere error does not make a document false.
What Documents Are Not Allowed To Be Forged In Jefferson Parish?
- Public records, certificate, attestation, or deed that can be used in legal matters.
- Insurance policy, bond, charter, testament, bill of any kind, or letter of attorney,
- Documents with records of funds or property discharge.
- Receipt for goods, property, or money
- Academic record or letter of recommendation
- Transport pass or ticket.
What Are The Possible Penalties For Indulging In Forgery In Jefferson Parish?
Forgery is charged as a felony offense in Jefferson Parish and is punished as follows;
- Whoever commits forgery in Jefferson Parish shall be imprisoned for up to 10 years in prison or fined up to $5,000, or both.
- If the crime involves forging or altering academic records, the offender shall be imprisoned for up to 6 months or fined up to $5,000, or serve both penalties.
- If the crime involves forging certificates or insurance documents, the offender shall be imprisoned for up to 5 years or fined up to $500, or both. Anyone caught making or distributing forged insurance documents will face the penalties.
What Other Consequences Will I Suffer From A Forgery Charge?
After been penalized for a forgery crime, you may also suffer other civil consequences that can make life a little difficult. This is why we usually advise that you hire an attorney when facing any criminal charge like this. An individual convicted of forgery may suffer the following;
- Difficulty in securing a job: no one wants to employ a person with a criminal record, so it may be a bit difficult to secure employment if you have a criminal record. Employers always conduct a background check, so when they see that you have been convicted for a felony, they automatically disqualify you.
- A dent on your image: people may begin to question your reputation as a result of your criminal history.
- Difficulty in obtaining certain licenses.
- Loss of certain privileges and rights.
Can I Have My Criminal Record Erased?
A criminal record can make life difficult, but the good news is that you can make it go away. You can formally apply to erase your criminal record from public access. This means your forgery crime will no longer show on your background check.
The process and requirement may be complicated, but you can seek legal help from defense to put you through the requirements and application process.
What Do I Do If Charged With Forgery In Jefferson Parish?
You don’t have many cards to play when facing a forgery charge. The only card left in your hand is a legal defense, which you should play as soon as possible. Forgery is a felony crime that often results in serious penalties, therefore, it is vital to get legal defense upon conviction so that you can get the best possible outcome.
You need to hire a defense lawyer if you are charged with Forgery. Your lawyer will help you break down the complexities of the case and help you understand your options. Also, he will devise possible strategies to get your charges reduced or dismissed.
Metairie Criminal Defense Attorneys
At Barkemeyer Law Firm, our duty and responsibility is to defend you. Our Metairie criminal defense attorneys are committed to putting you through, helping you understand the specifics of your case, and most importantly, defending you relentlessly.
3900 N. Causeway Blvd., Suite 1200
Metairie, LA 70002