Forgery Defense in Houston
Houston Forgery Lawyers :: The Law Office of Matthew D. Sharp
Texas state law prohibits forgery, the crime of altering a document in such a way that it deceives or affects the legal rights of another person. This includes the fraudulent imitation of someone else’s signature. If the accused is charged with having forged two or more documents, Texas law does not require the state to prove specific intent. The Texas Penal Code makes it a crime to either forge or substantially alter:
- Forms of identification such as birth certificates, licenses, work permits or passports
- Any printed or recorded information
- Money, credit cards or license plates
Prosecution of Forgery
At the state level, forgery is usually prosecuted as a Class A misdemeanor, meaning it is punishable with jail time (up to one year) and/or a fine up to $4,000. Under certain circumstances the crime of forgery may carry more serious penalties:
- Forgery of a will, deed, title or financial instrument may result in a maximum of two years in prison and/or a fine of up to $10,000.
- Forgery of official government documents or records such as licences or Social Security cards may be prosecuted as third-degree felonies and are punishable with two to 10 years in prison and/or fines up to $10,000.
Any forgery conviction will result in the creation of a lifelong criminal record. A person with a criminal record may be barred from certain types of employment and many forms of public assistance. Since the criminal punishments for forgery are so severe, it is important for defendants to have skilled forgery defense lawyers like The Law Office of Matthew D. Sharp to defend them.
Defenses Against Forgery Charges
Forgery charges are dismissed if either of these conditions can be proven:
- The signature or document in question was not forged
- There was no intent to defraud on the part of the accused.
Contact a Houston Forgery Attorney Today
Since such defenses are rarely so straightforward, it is necessary for anyone who is accused of forgery to contact an experienced criminal defense attorney as soon as possible. In the Greater Houston Area, the law firm of The Law Office of Matthew D. Sharp has the most experience in defending clients against charges of forgery.
Contact criminal defense attorneys at The Law Office of Matthew D. Sharp at 713-868-6100.