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Many people associate forgery with the creation of fake documents or signing someone else’s name on a check. However, the definition of the offense under North Carolina law is complex and encompasses a much wider range of criminal activities. Plus, forgery is almost always charged as a felony, so you could be facing a lengthy term of incarceration, fines, restitution, and other penalties. Your best strategy for fighting an arrest for forgery starts with retaining a Charlotte forgery defense lawyer to represent your interests.
At Randall & Stump, Criminal Defense Attorneys, our approach to defending a criminal case revolves around the basic concept that you’re presumed innocent and the prosecution must prove your guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. This is a heavy burden, and our Charlotte white-collar crime attorneys strive to make sure the prosecution doesn’t meet it. To schedule a free and confidential consultation of your case, contact us today at (980) 237-4579.
Forgery is a type of fraud, because it involves using a document as misrepresentation to gain a benefit. Another term for forgery is “uttering a forged instrument,” which means using fraudulent writing with the intent to defraud another party. The details will vary based upon the specific charges you face, but the general elements a prosecutor must prove are:
Law enforcement and prosecutors need extensive, solid proof to convict you in a forgery case. Instead of being arrested on the spot, there’s often a lengthy period of investigation as officials gather enough evidence to charge you with uttering a forged instrument. You do have rights during these investigations, which is why retaining a forgery lawyer is crucial as soon as you believe you’re the target on a pre-charge investigation.
Though the essential elements above are consistent with the basic definition of forgery, there are multiple forms of the offense. North Carolina General Statutes (NCGS) § 14-119 – 14-125 includes a range of criminal activities, including:
The punishment for uttering a forged instrument in Charlotte, NC is based upon the classification of the crime, the value of the property, the identity of the victim, and other factors. A Charlotte forgery attorney can provide more details on the forgery punishment you may face. Examples of penalties for forgery-related offenses include:
As with any criminal case, multiple defenses may be available. For instance, your Fourth Amendment protection against unlawful search and seizure applies. Any evidence law enforcement officers collect in violation of your civil rights must be excluded, which may defeat criminal charges against you. Your forgery lawyer will present any and all defenses in a forgery case, such as:
Keep in mind that there is no statute of limitations on forgery and related crimes, because North Carolina doesn’t impose a time restriction on any felony. Therefore, you cannot rely on the statute of limitations as a defense.