Written and edited by our team of expert legal content writers and reviewed and approved by Attorney Mark O’Mara
Content last updated on: July 17, 2023
Florida takes charges of forgery or using forged documents very seriously, and something as minor as being accused of faking a receipt can be met with severe consequences. The Orlando forgery defense lawyers at the O’Mara Law Group have helped many good people through difficult times. Our board-certified criminal defense attorneys are ready to take your case if you are charged with forgery or using forged documents in Florida.
What is forgery?
Florida considers a number of activities “forgery” under the law and defines it as when a person falsely makes, alters, forges, or counterfeits any written instrument with the intent to injure or defraud someone else. Specifically, the law prohibits the forging of any public record, certificate, return, or attestation of a clerk of the court, public register, notary republic, or public officer if used as proof in a legal matter, any charters, will, deed, testament, bond, insurance policy, power of attorney, promissory note, order or discharge of money or property, receipt for money, goods, or other property, passage ticket, pass on public transit, and more. In addition to creating forged instruments, the use of any forged documents, known as “uttering,” is also against the law.
Under the law, Florida considers most acts of forgery as felonies in the third degree, including the creation and utterance of forged documents. The penalties for forgery include up to five years in prison, five years of probation, and up to $5,000 in fines for each offense. Contacting an experienced criminal defense attorney can mean the difference between your freedom and years in prison for a forgery offense.
What are some common defenses to forgery?
Lack of Intent to Defraud
If you are charged with forgery or the utterance of a forgery, do not despair. You have legal options and defenses at your disposal, and an experienced criminal defense attorney will know the best possible arguments to make for your case. One of the most common defenses to charges of forgery is the lack of intent to defraud or injure another person. Even if a person does create a fake document, if it is done for personal reasons and not meant to defraud or injure someone else, it cannot be charged as forgery.
Lack of Knowledge
Another defense to forgery is a lack of knowledge that the instrument was forged. This is a common defense when charged with uttering a forged document. If you had no idea that the document was fake, there is no way that you have the intent to defraud another person if you thought the document was real.
One final defense to forgery is insanity. If a person lacks the mental capacity to understand what they did was wrong when they forged or used a forged instrument, they cannot be held accountable for their actions.
Contact Our Orlando Forgery Defense Lawyers Today
Serving as trial consultants, co-counsel, and speaking at educational events, the criminal defense attorneys at the O’Mara Law Group are recognized statewide for their skill in criminal defense matters. If you are in need of an experienced Orlando criminal lawyer, call or contact our office today for a consultation of your case.
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