Forgery Law in Columbus, OH
Learning About Forgery Law
Forgery is a crime that refers to falsifying a signature or formal document. There are a number of actions that may constitute as forgery, leading to criminal charges and penalties. If you are being arrested for federal forgery or have been charged with forgery, experienced forgery lawyer, Steven S. Nolder, is here to offer experienced knowledge and exceptional legal backing that protects your rights and interests, while securing a favorable outcome for your case.
The Types of Forgery
For something to be considered forgery, the perpetrator must have the intent to commit fraud while following through on one of the following situations:
- Signing a document using someone else’s name
- Altering, creating, selling, or distributing a forged identification card
- Altering a legal document
- Counterfeiting currency or using counterfeit currency
- Presenting or holding a forged document with intent to use it
- Falsifying someone’s name on a check, known as check forgery
- Attempting or successfully cashing a forged check at a credit union or bank
Federal Laws Regarding Forgery
Federal law oversees forgery law. Forgery is federally defined as the act of creating, altering, or possessing a document with the intent to defraud or the knowledge that this act is facilitating fraud. There are two acts in place under federal law that cover forgery, including the Forgery and Counterfeiting Act, and the False Claims Act.
Forgery and Counterfeiting Act
The Forgery and Counterfeiting Act is a federal law that is put in place to structure forgery and counterfeiting crimes. Through this act, it is deemed a federal offense to create, possess, or use any counterfeit document including currency, securities, or any other financial instrument. If you are found to violate this act, you may be subject to fines and prison.
False Claims Act
The False Claims Act, also known as Lincoln Law, is an additional federal law that is used in forgery law. The False Claims Act prohibits fraudulent claims made by individuals or companies to receive unwarranted payment from the government. Violating this act may result in significant fines and other penalties.
When Is Forgery Considered a Federal Offense?
There are determining factors that are considered in order for an alleged act of forgery to be deemed a federal offense, including who the victims are, the agency overseeing the investigation, and whether the alleged forgery crime surpassed state lines. Examples of forgery crimes include the following:
- Identity theft
- Counterfeiting money
- Forging federal documentation, including immigration or military documents
If a person forges a check to a local retailer or person, the act will not be considered a federal offense. However, if a person forges a military discharge certificate, the alleged crime will be deemed as a federal investigation. Furthermore, if the alleged forgery crime entails several agencies or if the person who committed the crime is suspected to have been working within a sophisticated and intricate network, it will be investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation.
The Penalties for Federal Forgery
The penalties for federal forgery may include monetary fines and up to 20 years in federal prison. However, this does not mean each person convicted of a federal forgery crime will receive the same penalties. The federal judge overseeing the case will assess the defendant’s criminal past as well as equitable, aggravating, and mitigating circumstances, such as:
- The defendant’s personal history and character
- The impact of their incarceration on their dependents including their spouse or small children
- Whether restitution will be provided
- The sentencing and penalties of similar cases
Federal Forgery Crimes and Penalties
There are several ways one may commit federal forgery. Common federal forgery crimes include circumstances where an individuals is accused of forging federal identification cards, federal securities money, and federal contracts or documentation. Each type of federal forgery crime has a unique set of penalties, including the following:
- Forging of Federal Identification Documents – This alleged forgery crime may include forging government-issue identification cards or other forms of legal documentation in order to take on another person’s identify or with the intent of financial gain. These cases may face more severe penalties if the alleged forgery crime is committed in conjunction with another violent or drug related crime.
- Forged Federal Contracts, Powers of Attorney, Deeds, and Other Forms of Paperwork – Alleged federal forgery crimes that involve the act of forging a federal contract, Power of Attorney, deed, or other form of legal or federal paperwork in an effort to obtain financial gain from the United States or related agencies are subjected to monetary fines and up to 10 years in federal prison.
- Forged Securities – If an individual is alleged to have forged an endorsement or signature for federal paperwork including a Treasury check, a bond, or security of the United States the individual may be subject to monetary fines and up to 10 years in federal prison.
How Forgery Is Investigated and Prosecuted
Federal forgery cases are investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigations as well as other federal agencies with the collaboration of local law enforcement. They will build a case against you by collecting evidence in a number of strategic ways. If you suspect you are under investigation for forgery, it’s imperative to contact an experienced forgery lawyer immediately to challenge the evidence they are preparing against you.
Seeking Legal Assistance from a Skilled Forgery Lawyer
A forgery conviction is a life-altering event that results in significant consequences, tarnishing your reputation, employment standing, and financial stability, while compromising any future opportunities you may have. If you are facing a forgery charge, it’s essential to secure legal backing from a skilled forgery lawyer with extensive experience in federal white-collar crime cases.
Your forgery lawyer will help you to collect sufficient evidence to build a solid defense that will aid in minimizing your charges or securing your innocence. They will clarify the legalities of your case and help you to understand the exact charges and consequences you are facing while protecting your rights and best interests throughout.
Contact Columbus, OH’s Trusted Forgery Lawyer Today
Steven S. Nolder is a reputable forgery lawyer who is committed to providing exceptional legal services and personalized attention in forgery law cases. If you or a loved one is accused of a forgery crime, contact our firm today to schedule a consultation to discuss your case.