Forgery is a very common chriminal charge. It can be found in the most innocent of environments like children forging their parents’ signatures on different school forms. It can also occur when attempting to defraud a bank by falsifying a signature on a check to attempt to steal the money related to the check. However, forgery is a very serious criminal offense in the United States, including Louisiana as well. It is illegal to falsify a signature on any legal or financial document and the penalties come along with a forgery charge are very strict and can hinder your future and the future of your loved ones. If you have recently been charged with forgery in Louisiana, it is strongly recommended to seek legal assistance for your charges and impending court case. Carl Barkemeyer, criminal defense attorney has defended numerous forgery charges in Louisiana and has a deep knowledge of the Louisiana legal system to aid in defending these charges. Mr. Barkemeyer and his legal team can help you by looking at your specific case and observing all the evidence to determine the best possible way to defend against forgery charges. The purpose behind the forgery must be proven as intentional and the actual signature needs to be determined if it was actually a fake. All of these factors can make the difference in a forgery case during the trial.
In general, forgery is the falsifying of a signature on a legal or financial document that aims to defraud the original signer of the document. There are many different instances in which forgery takes place and it is important to understand why exactly you are being charged with forgery. Under Louisiana state law, forgery is defined as follows:
A. It shall be unlawful to forge, with intent to defraud, any signature to, or any part of, any writing purporting to have legal efficacy.
B. Issuing, transferring, or possessing with intent to defraud, a forged writing, known by the offender to be a forged writing, shall also constitute a violation of the provisions of this Section.
There are also many specific aspects of forgery to help define what each condition means. Those specific aspects are defined under Louisiana state law as follows:
(1) "Forge" means the following:
(a) To alter, make, complete, execute, or authenticate any writing so that it purports:
(i) To be the act of another who did not authorize that act;
(ii) To have been executed at a time or place or in a numbered sequence other than was in fact the case; or
(iii) To be a copy of an original when no such original existed.
(b) To issue, transfer, register the transfer of, pass, publish, or otherwise utter a writing that is forged in accordance with the meaning of Subparagraph (1)(a).
(c) To possess a writing that is forged within the meaning of Subparagraph (1)(a).
(2) "Writing" means the following:
(a) Printing or any other method of recording information;
(b) Money, coins, tokens, stamps, seals, credit cards, badges, and trademarks; and
(c) Symbols of value, right, privilege, or identification.
Forgery is considered a felony crime both in Louisiana and the United States. This means that it can carry very stringent penalties and will part of your permanent criminal record if convicted. The second part of the forgery law also includes the transfer or possession of a forged signature that is known by the owner as being a forgery. This means that if you try to cash a check at the bank that has been forged by your friend then you can also be charged with forgery if it is determined that the person in possession of the forgery knew it was forged and had intent to defraud the bank.
Because forgery is considered a felony crime in Louisiana, it can deal a heavy blow to someone who is charged with it because it the punishments are very strict to deter any further forgery charges in the future. Being charged with a felony crime like forgery can drastically hurt your future by limiting your further opportunities in life like employment or applying for college or university. The penalties for being charged with forgery under Louisiana state law are defined as follows:
- Whoever commits the crime of forgery shall be fined not more than $5,000, and/or imprisoned, with or without hard labor, for not more than ten years.
Both the large fine and also the maximum prison time of 10 years are penalties that should not be taken lightly because they are punishments that can deter the quality of your life for a long time to come.
A strong understanding of the forgery law in Louisiana is the first important step to a potentially successful defense of the charges in court. Thankfully, Carl Barkemeyer is a very experienced criminal defense attorney who has deep knowledge of the forgery laws in the State of Louisiana. Mr. Barkemeyer and his legal team have been defending forgery cases for many years and know how to observe the evidence and determine the best possible defense for your specific case. It is imperative to seek legal assistance immediately after being charged with forgery because the quicker you receive legal help, the more time can be spent crafting your defense so that you can potentially attain a more positive result for yourself and your loved ones during the case. The penalties for being convicted of forgery will drastically hurt the quality of your life and the quality of life of those around you and should not be taken lightly, making a solid defense even more vital for your case. If you have recently been charged with forgery in Louisiana, contact us at (225) 964-6720 for legal assistance immediately.
Contact Baton Rouge, Louisiana Forgery Defense Lawyer, Carl Barkemeyer, Criminal Defense Attorney at (225) 964-6720.
H. Taylor - Baton Rouge, Louisiana