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Penalties for Forgery in Arizona

What is forgery? Is it forgery when you sign someone else’s name on a check, a credit card receipt, or on a mortgage application? It’s all the above. Forgery is usually a financially-motivated crime where someone creates, alters, or forges, or creates a false document with the intention of defrauding someone. Forgery includes signing someone else’s signature without their authorization or causing someone else to forge another person’s signature.

While the forgery laws vary from state to state, forgery in all states usually involves the actor’s intention to defraud or deceive. If you’re accused of forgery, it’s important to know that the crime can be prosecuted as a felony in all states. Forgery is a type of “white-collar crime” and a popular way for criminals to commit identity theft.

Forgery: A State & Federal Crime

Forgery is one of the crimes that are criminalized under state and federal law. That means that if you’re accused of forgery, it is possible for you to be prosecuted in federal court depending on the facts of your case.

While checks are most commonly forged, all types of documents are covered under forgery laws, especially when they have any legal significance. The types of documents covered under forgery laws include but are not limited to the following:

  • Mortgage applications
  • Credit card applications
  • Loan documents
  • Titles to property and deeds
  • Money orders
  • Promissory notes
  • Tax documents
  • Birth certificates
  • Social Security cards

In Arizona, forgery is covered under Section 13-2002 of the Arizona Revised Statutes. Under this law a person commits forgery when he or she alters a written instrument, falsely makes or completes a written instrument, knowingly possesses a forged instrument, offers or presents a forged or a written instrument that contains false information.

Forgery is typically prosecuted as a Class 4 felony in Arizona, punishable by 1 to 3.75 years in prison.

Whether you’re facing state or federal forgery charges, the Law Offices of Joshua S. Davidson, PLC can help. Contact us 24/7 for a free consultation.