Forgery is the act of altering or creating a form of writing, making it fraudulent and false. It’s illegal to forge writing to commit fraud against someone else, according to Tennessee law. Whether a person forged something accidentally or intentionally, this charge can result in significant penalties if the person is convicted – this can include serving jail time. An experienced and knowledgeable Knoxville criminal defense attorney can help people facing a forgery charge and help them build a strong defense so they can avoid being convicted.
Actions That Lead to Forgery Charges
Forging is defined as completing, executing, creating, altering, or authenticating something that’s in writing to make it look like it was:
- Executed or created by a person who didn’t authorize the action
- Produced at a false place or time
- A copy of an original
Doing any of these in Tennessee can lead to forgery charges:
- Publishing, passing, issuing, or transferring forced writing
- In possession of a forged instrument to make it seem like an original’s copy
- Making false entries in records
“Writing” can include printed documents or any other type of seals or recordings, such as trademarks, money, copyrights, and more. The most common type of forgery is falsely replicating another person’s signature on a prescription to obtain prescription medication. Forgery also exists in art where a person may write an artist’s name on a piece of artwork to make it appear genuine or original.
Forgery Penalties In Tennessee
The punishments for forgery are the same as theft offenses. The penalties are based on the property’s value that’s been compromised. If the forgery results in a $10,000-$60,000, it is considered a Class C felony. If the loss is valued at between $60,000-$250,000, it is considered a Class B felony. Forgery is required to be charged at least a Class E felony in Tennessee. This results in penalties including one to two years served in prison and the offender must pay up to $3,000 in fines. Jail terms can be longer for offenders that have prior convictions on their records.
In the United States, forgery is a serious crime. If you or someone that you know is facing jail or prison time due to an alleged forgery offense, you need to contact a skilled criminal law attorney immediately. The attorneys at McKellar, Easter & DeVore can help you if you have been charged or accused of forgery – call TODAY for help!