The crime of forgery is a felony under both Florida and federal law. Forgery is when one falsely makes, alters, forges or counterfeits a document while intending to injure or defraud some person or firm. In other words, a forgery is the action of creating or producing a replica, or facsimile of a document, signature, banknote, coins, artwork or like items that purports to be the bonafide original when it is not. Uttering a forgery is when one tries to pass off the forgery as real to another individual or entity. Uttering is a separate and distinct crime because of the additional requirement that it be “passed off,” but it is punishable as a felony just the same as forgery. Most often, forgery occurs with checks, money, money orders, deeds, contracts or loan documents. Forgery laws also apply to those in possession of counterfeited materials such as money, coins or art.
Under federal law, forgery and uttering is a felony and is punishable by a fine and/or a term of imprisonment up to, and not to exceed, 20 years. Under Florida law, forgery and uttering is a felony of the third degree.
Conviction of this offense is punishable by a fine not to exceed $5,000 and/or a term of imprisonment not to exceed five years. Attorney Paul Petruzzi has over 25 years of experience defending those charged with forgery offenses. It is important for one to hire an experienced attorney when faced with this type of fraud crime. Attorney Paul Petruzzi’s knowledge and expertise in this field of law is a vital asset to anyone charged with these crimes. Call today for a free consultation.