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Forgery in California and how to defend against it

Forgery is a commonly charged criminal offense in California. But its commonality doesn’t reduce its impact on those who are convicted. In fact, a forgery conviction can be a misdemeanor or a felony depending on the facts at hand, which means that those who lose their case may end up facing the very real possibility of significant jail time. That’s why if you’re facing a forgery charge then it’s important that you know the law and how to build a compelling criminal defense.

When does forgery occur?

Under California law, there are multiple ways that forgery can occur. If you sign the name of another person, fake the handwriting of another, falsify any records pertaining to estate planning documents, or counterfeit checks, money orders, or any other financial instrument, then you may be found guilty of forgery. The penalties upon conviction could include probation or something as severe as three years in jail.

Defending against forgery charges

Fortunately, there are compelling ways to defend against forgery allegations. To start, you can challenge the prosecution’s assertion that you intended to defraud someone. Intent is hard to prove, so look at the context of the alleged crime to see if you can use it to your advantage.

You might also be able to argue that your confession was coerced by law enforcement. Was your right to remain silent or obtain an attorney violated? If so, then you might be able to have your false confession thrown out.

There are other defense options that may be available to you, so be sure to discuss the unique circumstances of your case with your criminal defense attorney. It’s important, though, that you don’t falter under the pressure of the prosecution’s allegations. Stand strong, fully assess your criminal defense options, and zealously advocate for the protection of your future.

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John Patrick Ryan has been practicing law for over 20 years. Experienced in criminal law. U.S. Navy Veteran.