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Forgery Crimes in Louisiana
Forgery Crimes Attorney in Shreveport, Bossier City, Monroe, & Ruston, LA
Forgery is a white-collar crime that is commonly recognized as someone signing someone else’s name on an official document like a check or deed without authorization. But that’s only the tip of the iceberg. While unauthorized signings are a significant form of forgery, the crime also includes modifying official documents and creating fake documents. For one to be found guilty of forgery, the prosecution must first prove deception. If there’s a lack of intent of deception, the state will have a difficult time getting charges to stick.
If you’ve been charged with fraud for allegedly committing forgery, it’s essential that you seek legal representation from an experienced criminal defense attorney. Eric G. Johnson of the John. D. & Eric G. Johnson is a knowledgeable Louisiana criminal defense lawyer who has represented individuals facing severe penalties for an array of white-collar crimes. Eric can look into the details of your case and make you aware of your legal options moving forward.
Common Forgery Crimes in Louisiana
Forgery is a crime that’s more common than many people think. People commit forgery for many different reasons. No matter the reason, however, forgery is a serious offense that results in significant legal consequences. One of the most common forgery crimes in Louisiana is check fraud. One can commit this crime in numerous ways, including the following:
- Forging a check signature
- Making a fake check
- Intentionally writing a bad check to a merchant
- Manipulating the writing on a check
Banks are usually the entities that press charges against suspected criminals since they’re the ones directly affected by the fraudulent activity. Whether the crime is charged as a felony or misdemeanor depends solely on the severity of the crime. However, being that check fraud often involves massive amounts of money, individuals often face felony charges.
Aside from checks, there are many other legal documents that can be used to commit crimes via forgery. Some of the most commonly forged documents include:
- Court seals
- Money orders
Forgery cases are commonly tried on the state level which subjects offenders to penalties mandated by Louisiana law. Depending on whether the forgery had national implications, one could face federal charges which are accompanied by federal penalties.
What Are The Penalties for Forgery?
The penalties for forgery directly correlate with the amount of money that would’ve been gained if the forgery had never been identified. Someone caught forging a $10,000 check will likely face more severe penalties than someone who forged a $50 money order. However, forgeries done on a comparatively small scale can still be picked up by federal courts if the offender forged a federal document like a bond or committed the offense in multiple states.
Penalties for a forgery conviction often include the individual having to pay back the stolen funds (also known as reparations) and incarceration that can range from a short jail sentence to a lengthy prison term. In some instances, the courts can rule to have an offender’s assets seized to cover the amount owed.
Louisiana Forgery Defense Lawyers
If you have been charged with forgery, there are experienced attorneys available who can help you build a credible defense. Some of the most common defense strategies for forgery crimes include no intent to commit a crime and no intent to defraud a person.
Another defense strategy is to prove that you did not actually forge the document. This will take more evidence and professional evaluation of the signature. If you are able to take this angle, however, it’s often successful.
All of the defense strategies mentioned here are extremely effective. The best defense strategy, however, is one that is directly based on the circumstances of your case.
Discuss Your Forgery Charge in Louisiana with an Experienced Defense Lawyer
The best time to contact an attorney to defend you for forgery charges is now. The longer you wait to contact an attorney, the longer it will be until you’re able to return to life as it was before you faced criminal charges. To avoid being subjected to the most severe forgery penalties, acquire the legal services of an attorney experienced defending against white-collar crimes.
One of the top Louisiana criminal defense lawyers, Eric G. Johnson of the John D. & Eric G. Johnson Law Firm, can analyze the details of your case and suggest the most favorable course of action. Contact Eric today at 318-377-1555 for a free case evaluation.