In Colorado, the crime of forgery can range from a class 1 misdemeanor to a class 5 felony, depending on the circumstances. The penalties for felony forgery can potentially be multiple years in prison, time in jail, and/or paying a fine of up to $100,000. Of course, having a criminal record of any kind can have a significant impact on your life, but felonies in particular can yield serious long-term consequences. For example, if you are convicted of a felony, you can no longer purchase or carry a firearm, and are restricted from practicing in several types of professions. However, even misdemeanor forgery can have a serious impact on your life. When it comes down to it, forgery of any kind is a crime of dishonesty. Many employers are often hesitant to hire someone convicted of such a crime, regardless of whether it is a misdemeanor or a felony. For this reason, being convicted of a forgery charge of any kind can significantly limit your future employment opportunities.
Having an experienced Colorado Springs forgery defense lawyer such as attorney and former prosecutor Patterson Weaver on your side will greatly increase your chance of getting a positive outcome from your case. Having an attorney from a knowledgeable and successful law firm such as Patterson Weaver Law, LLC fight for you in court can help you get your charges lowered, or possibly even dropped altogether. The potential penalties and other long-term consequences of a forgery conviction are serious and require the skills of an experienced lawyer. Attorney Patterson Weaver is a trial lawyer with years of experience effectively representing clients with cases like yours. He and his team provide excellent legal representation to people charged with forgery in Colorado Springs and the surrounding areas, and they would be pleased to discuss your case and concerns with you during a free case evaluation.
Contact Patterson Weaver Law, LLC today to schedule your appointment.
Understanding Forgery Charges
There are several felony forgery crimes in the state of Colorado. Under Colorado Revised Statute § 18-5-102, it is a class 5 felony to forge certain items. A person commits felony forgery if they intend to defraud by making, changing, or using a certain written “instrument” that is not what it purports to be. These instruments include, but are not limited to: Money, checks, stamps, stocks, bonds, deeds, wills, contracts, assignments, lottery tickets, commercial instruments, promissory notes, securities, public records, public service tokens, and certificates. Practically speaking, this often involves forging a signature on a document or alteration of a document. Very often, forgery charges are charged with other similar crimes such as identity theft or fraud.
Criminal possession of a forged instrument is also a felony. It is a class 6 felony to possess any of the items described above with intent to defraud and knowledge that they were forged. Additionally, it is a class 6 felony to knowingly possess any equipment that is designed to create forged products.
There are also misdemeanor forgery crimes that a person can be charged with in Colorado. For example, it is a class 1 misdemeanor to use a forged academic record. Use of a forged academic record is committed by anyone who makes, changes, or uses a fake academic record with the intent of gaining employment, admission to a higher education institution, or a scholarship or financial assistance.
Second degree forgery is also a class 1 misdemeanor under Colorado Revised Statute § 18-5-104, which acts as a catch-all statute for forgery crimes. Second degree forgery is committed by anyone intending to defraud through making, changing, or using any written instrument that is not included in the other forgery statutes. Additionally, just as with felony forgery, it is a crime to possess items with intent to defraud while knowing that the items were forged. Criminal possession of a Second Degree Forged Instrument is a class 2 misdemeanor in Colorado.
How Can a Criminal Defense Attorney Help Me?
While every forgery case is different, representation from an experienced forgery defense attorney in Colorado Springs gives you a stronger chance to beat or reduce the charges you are facing. An attorney experienced in defending these types of economic crime cases will analyze the case for potential motions issues and the applicability of the elements of the offense to the facts of your case. A good criminal defense lawyer can help you build a defense to your forgery, counterfeiting, or fraud charge, including potentially using handwriting and other experts to establish reasonable doubt in your case.
If you are accused of forgery, even if your case cannot be won on the merits, having an experienced forgery lawyer on your side to speak on your behalf in court and negotiate with the prosecution to strike a favorable plea deal for you is invaluable. As a former prosecutor himself, Attorney Patterson Weaver is a courtroom lawyer who is exceptionally skilled in negotiating with district attorneys. If you have been charged with forgery of any kind in Colorado Springs, Pueblo, Teller County, Castle Rock, Park County, Fremont County, and the surrounding areas, turn to Patterson Weaver Law, LLC today.
Call 719-264-9858 to schedule a completely free consultation at a time convenient for you. Don’t put it off, speak with a knowledgeable Colorado Springs forgery attorney to review the details of your situation today. Life happens. Let us help.