In the state of Colorado, forgery crimes can range from a misdemeanor to a felony depending on the circumstances of the case. Creating forged documents is not the only crime someone can be charged with; they can also be facing possession charges of such documents. Forgery is a serious allegation with associated crimes and severe penalties. Usually the offense is committed in one of three possible ways; counterfeiting, forging someone’s signature, and altering documents. The Colorado laws regarding forgery can seem complicated, nevertheless, a person can be charged with forgery if there was an intent to defraud and “such person falsely makes, completes, alters, or utters a written instrument” that appears to be issued by a government or government agency (See Colo. Rev. Stat. § 18-5-102).
It is vital that if you are facing charges to consult with an experienced professional. Obtaining representation can help you understand your legal options and provide you with counsel. Most often, forgery is charged as a class 5 felony in Colorado, which can affect your freedom and your future.
Forgery Defense Attorney in Colorado Springs, CO
Forgery is a white-collar offense that has several other criminal offenses associated with it, such as fraud. If you are facing forgery charges it is imperative to retain an experienced criminal defense attorney. At Law Offices of Clifton Black, PC we will guide you through the process and provide you with proper and competent representation. We have decades of experience, and we are here to help you fight the charges against you whether it is for identity theft, forgery, or fraud. Contact us at (719) 328-1616 to schedule a free confidential consultation.
Overview of Forgery in Colorado
Whether you are forging a check or Wills – the offense of forgery is defined as the activity of falsifying official documents, completing, altering, or offering a written document as true with the intention to defraud or deceive. The charges and penalties for forgery under Colorado law depend on the type of documents used to commit the offense (See Colo. Rev. Stat. §18-5-102). In addition, forgery can be charged in two ways: first degree forgery and second-degree forgery (See Colo. Rev. Stat. §18-5-104).
A first-degree forgery is a type of fraud and an individual commits forgery in the first-degree, if he or she is making or using falsified documents or instruments with the intention to deceive or defraud. Under C.R.S. §18-5-102, a first-degree charge is a class 5 felony which is punishable by one (1) to three (3) years in prison and a fine ranging from $1,000 to $100,000.
Below is a list of first-degree type of documents:
- Stocks, Bonds, or other instruments representing an interest in or claims against a corporate or other organization or its property
- Deeds, Wills, Contracts, Legal documents or other instruments that may affect a legal right, interest, obligation, or status
- Public records or other instruments required by law to be filed or legally fileable with a public office or public servant
- Lottery tickets or shares under article 40 of title 44
- Identification documents
- Money, stamps, or other documents issued by a government or government agency
- Tokens, certificates, or other articles that are used for public transportation, to purchase property, or for services available to the public for compensation
However, under C.R.S. §18-5-104 a second-degree is a class 1 misdemeanor which carries a six (6) to eighteen (18) months in jail and/or having to pay a hefty fine. Also, the defendant is committing the criminal activity if he or she knows that an instrument is forged and intends to deceive someone with it. Colorado law defines second-degree forgery as falsifying other documents other than the types of documents under first-degree forgery. Some examples of second-degree forgery include making a fake letter of recommendation, falsifying a signature, or altering information on a financial application.
Forgery as a Federal Offense
Forgery is a crime that can fall under the jurisdiction of the federal government. In addition, 8 U.S. Code § 1324c details the regulations and laws surrounding counterfeiting and forgery. It addresses forgery of military document and other documents that have been issued by a government agency or the federal government.
Possession of Forged Documents
An associated crime with forgery is possession of forged documents, fraud, and identity theft. It is not only a crime to create the false document; but also, to be knowingly in possession of such document. Criminal possession of a second-degree forged documents is a class 2 misdemeanor which consist of three (3) to twelve (12) months in jail and/or having to pay a fine ranging from $250 to $1,000 (See Colo. Rev. Stat. §18-5-104).
In addition, it is also a class 6 felony to possess any type of documents classified as first-degree documents and to knowingly possess equipment that is designed to forge documents. The penalty for a class 6 felony consist of serving one (1) year to eighteen (18) months in prison and a fine ranging from $1,000 to $100,000 (See Colo. Rev. Stat. §18-1.3-401).
Colorado Revised Statutes (C.R.S. §18-5-102) – Visit the link to view the C.R.S. §18-5-102 which is the Colorado law that defines the crime of forgery. The document states that a person commits forgery with the intention to defraud. Additionally, it is important to understand how the law applies to your alleged crime.
Lawyer for Forgery in Colorado
If you are facing accusations of forgery, you should take these allegations very seriously. A criminal record can hinder your future opportunities for employment, housing, and much more. Having an experienced criminal defense attorney by your side can help increase your chances of a favorable outcome. At Law Offices of Clifton Black, PC, our skilled attorneys are knowledgeable in Colorado laws and bring decades of experience to your case.
Law Offices of Clifton Black, PC is based in Colorado Springs, but we assist clients in counties such as El Paso County, Denver County, and Arapahoe County. Contact us at (719) 328-1616