Charlotte Forgery Defense Lawyers

The crimes of forgery and uttering are serious financial crimes in North Carolina. Forgery and uttering are punishable by years in prison. Many people think that forgery only applies to signing your name on someone else's check. On the contrary, the crime of forgery is incredibly complex and involves a wide variety of actions and criminal activities. Prosecutors always charge the crime of forgery as a felony.

Contact Our Forgery Defense Lawyers Today

Those convicted of forgery in North Carolina face lengthy prison sentences, fines, restitution, and other serious penalties. The best way to fight against forgery charges is to hire an experienced Charlotte forgery defense lawyer as soon as possible. At Arnold & Smith, PLLC, we have helped many clients who are facing charges of forgery and uttering. Contact our Charlotte criminal defense law firm today to schedule your initial consultation and learn how we can help you.

Understanding the Crimes of Forgery and Uttering

Forgery and uttering are serious financial crimes under North Carolina law. Many people understand what the crime of forgery is but few have heard of the crime of uttering. Forgery involves making a false document or altering a legally valid document for the purpose of making it false. The defendant must have the intent to injure or defraud.

Uttering happens when someone publishes a forged document with the intent to defraud or injure someone else. Forging and uttering both involve crimes with the intent to defraud other people. The financial side of the crime involves forging documents. The uttering aspect of the crime involves using those forged documents.

Fighting Forgery and Uttering Charges in North Carolina

Several different laws govern forgery and uttering violations. Law enforcement officials in North Carolina will investigate and prosecute any suspected attempts of forgery and uttering. Examples of forgery and uttering include the following:

  • Creating falsified documents
  • Falsifying securities
  • Falsifying last wills and testimonies
  • Altering banknotes or other currency
  • Altering financial instruments
  • Falsifying bonds, corporate stocks, or other securities
  • Falsifying diplomas, certificates, or other similar documents
North Carolina is Incredibly Tough on Forgery Crimes

Forgery is a type of fraud that involves the defendant using and misrepresenting a document in order to gain some sort of benefit. In other words, one party uses fraudulent writing with the intent to defraud another person, usually for financial gain. In general, prosecutors must prove the following elements to prove a forgery charge:

  • The defendant altered an existing legal document or created a false instrument
  • The document had some sort of legal significance because it has value, signifies an ownership interest, or represents an item of value
  • The creation of the document or alteration of the document was material. The alteration or creation changed the legal impact of the document
  • The defendant intended to defraud another person by misrepresenting the nature of the document and with the knowledge that the entity or person would rely upon the document.
Prosecutors Must Prove Every Element of a Forgery Charge

Law enforcement and prosecutors must provide solid and extensive proof to convict a defendant of a forgery. Many times, police do not arrest someone immediately. Instead, investigators often investigate the forgery extensively to find evidence of the forged instrument. If you suspect that you are being investigated for forgery, but you have not been charged, it is still important to hire a lawyer. You still have rights as someone being investigated for a crime.

Examples of Forgery

There are multiple different types of forgery recognized under North Carolina's forgery law. The type of forgery will reflect the penalty of the crime. For example, the following types of forgery and penalties for forgery are punished as follows:

  • Forging an instrument is a Class1 felony
  • Forging wills, deeds, leases, or other legal documents is a Class H felony
  • Forging corporate securities is a Class 1 felony
  • Forging educational certificates is a Class 1 misdemeanor
  • Uttering is a Class 1 felony
Contact Our Experienced Charlotte Criminal Defense Lawyers Today

At Arnold & Smith, PLLC, we offer full-service and aggressive criminal defense representation. After evaluating our client's cases, we analyze the facts and develop a winning legal strategy. We commonly offer the following forgery charges for insufficient evidence, the mistake of fact, lack of intent, and consent to the forgery. Call our lawyers at Arnold & Smith, PLLC, at (704) 370-2828 to evaluate your options or fill out our contact form. Now taking cases throughout North Carolina with offices in Uptown Charlotte, Mooresville and Monroe.