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Armando Nava

What is Forgery?

The Legal Dictionary defines forgery as a criminal act in which someone falsifies or fabricates writing, art, documents, or other objects with intention to deceive another person or entity.

How Common is Forgery?

We don’t see a lot of forgery crimes on the news, but forgery is actually more common today than ever. This is all thanks to 20th century technology and the internet.

Examples of Forgery

Common acts of forgery include:

  • Signature Forgery— falsely replicating someone else’s signature.
  • Prescription Forgery— altering a prescription or forging a doctor’s signature or prescription with the intent to get medicine.
  • Art Forgery— putting an artist’s name on an art so it appears as a genuine or original.

Federal Forgery

Federal forgery is the most prosecuted type of forgery. Examples include falsifying or altering:

  • Government issues I.D.s
  • Identity theft
  • Military issue documents
  • Immigration documents

That fake I.D. you had in high school could’ve landed you a hefty fine and night in jail.


When the subject of forgery is currency, it’s called counterfeit.

Accidental Forgery

The intent to deceive must exist in any crime of forgery. For example, a person cannot be charged with forgery if they aren’t aware the object in their possession is false. Claiming ignorance doesn’t always work, though. A common example is your boss asking you to sign their name on a package because they’re too busy to do it themselves.

Prosecution in Arizona

Forgery is a felony is all 50 states. In every state, the crime depends on what has been forged and the intent. Punishment is often left in the hands of the judge. Judges consider:

  • Defendant’s criminal history
  • The type of document
  • What the defendant gained or attempted to gain with the forgery
  • Whether the defendant has attempted to right his wrong

What to Do if You’ve Been Charged

If you’ve charged with forgery, it’s vital to contact a lawyer immediately. Legal experts can determine whether your forgery was a misdemeanor and what degree it’s classified in. Contact Nava Law, and we’ll fight to dismiss or reduce your charges.

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