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Orange County Forgery Attorney

When most people hear the word forgery, they imagine something like producing millions of counterfeit dollars. Forgery, however, can also apply to forging someone's signature on the back of a check or trying to use false or altered legal documents.

Defense of Forgery/Fraud

The core of a forgery charge lies in the client's intent to defraud someone. Surrounding this idea, many real-life defenses come to light because not everyone who signs a signature on a document intends to defraud someone. On the other hand, many people have been arrested or charged for passing a document at the behest of another person, making them an unknowing accomplice to a crime they never intended to commit.

Law of Forgery/Fraud

When a person signs a name on the back of a check without the authority to sign that name, he or she will have committed forgery of endorsement (Penal Code § 470a). The person, however, must know that he or she did not have the authority to sign with someone else's name and intended to in doing so cause someone else to lose money or goods or cause damage to a legal, financial or property right.

If someone tries to use counterfeit, altered, or fake legal documents with the knowledge that they are frauds, he or she can be charged with the crime of forgery (Penal Code § 470d). The person must also have intended to deceive another person so as to cause a loss of money, goods, or services or to cause damage to a legal, financial, or property right. Nothing needs to be actually lost or damaged as long as the person intended to cause such harm.