Dallas Forgery & Counterfeiting Defense Attorneys
Many people think forgery is simply someone signing another person’s name on a check and cashing it. However, forgery under Texas law can mean many things, including what most people commonly call “counterfeiting.”
If you have been charged with forgery or counterfeiting, or if you are under investigation, you need to get legal help as soon as possible. Many law enforcement agencies in Texas, such as the Dallas Police Department, have established divisions and task forces that target financial crimes such as forgery. You will need an experienced white-collar crime lawyer on your side to protect your rights.
With over 60 years of combined experience as Dallas forgery and counterfeiting criminal defense lawyers, including representing clients facing charges in the Texas state court system, we can provide you with the knowledge and insight you need to protect your rights and fight your charges.
What Is Forgery?
A forgery occurs when a person attempts to pass off any type of writing with the intent to defraud or harm another. Under Texas Penal Code § 32.21, forgery technically can be three different types of acts:
- Altering, making, completing, executing, or authenticating any writing so that it purports to be the act of someone else who did not authorize that act, to have been executed at a time or place or in a numbered sequence other than was, in fact, the case, or to be a copy of an original when no such original existed
- Issuing, transferring, registering the transfer of, passing, publishing, or otherwise uttering a writing that is forged as set out above
- Possessing a forged writing
In other words, forgery can occur if you sign someone else’s name to a writing, alter times or places so it appears original, or just possess a forged document.
The statute defines a writing as:
- Printing or any other method of recording information
- Money, coins, tokens, stamps, seals, credit cards, badges, and trademarks
- Symbols of value, right, privilege, or identification
A person is presumed to intend to defraud or harm another if the person acts with respect to two or more writings of the same type and if each writing is a government record. Examples of government records include licenses, certificates, permits, seals, titles, letters of patent, or similar documents that the Texas state government, another state, or the federal government has issued.
Common Types of Forgery
As broad as the definition of “forgery” is under Texas law, it may come as no surprise that many different types of acts fall under its umbrella. In our experience as Dallas forgery defense lawyers, we understand the factual and legal issues that can arise with different types of forgery.
Some of the most common types we encounter in our practice are:
Forgery can occur when a person makes changes to a document that is otherwise valid. For instance, a person may change the date or amount on a check or alter the birthdate on a driver’s license to make a fake ID.
Instead of merely making changes to a writing, a person may commit forgery by creating an entirely new writing with the intent to defraud others. Fake checks, driver’s licenses, ATM and credit cards, checks, birth certificates, diplomas, and works of art are examples of items that may be forged and distributed for gain.
The most common example of this type of forgery is signing someone else’s name on a check or other document. However, it can take on many different forms. For instance, a person can fake an identity by using someone’s password to log into a bank account and steal funds, or they could use their Social Security number to get a credit card.
When you knowingly try to pass off a writing as genuine when you know it is fake, it can be a forgery, which is punishable under Texas law. If someone else creates a phony check or alters the date or amount on it, a person could still be guilty of forgery for trying to cash it at a bank when knowing it was false.