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Creating, altering, or signing certain types of documents with intent to defraud or harm another party can result in a person being charged with forgery. A forgery crime can be a misdemeanor or felony offense in Texas, depending on the types of writing involved and the age of the alleged victim.

Alleged offenders can be accused of forgery offenses for personally forging certain documents or simply for possessing writings that have been forged. Many people accused of these types of offenses were honestly unaware that the items in their possession were not authentic.

Attorney for Forgery Arrests in Plano, TX

If you think that you could be under investigation or you were already arrested in Collin County for an alleged forgery offense, it is in your best interest to exercise your right to remain silent until you have legal representation. Law Offices of Richard C. McConathy aggressively defends clients accused of white-collar crimes in Allen, Frisco, McKinney, Plano, and many surrounding areas of Collin County.

Richard McConathy and Brian Bolton are experienced criminal defense lawyers in Plano who can fight to possibly get your criminal charges reduced or dismissed. Call (972) 805-8855 today to have our attorneys provide an honest and thorough evaluation of your case during a free, confidential consultation.

Overview of Forgery Crimes in Collin County

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Forgery Charges in Texas

Texas Penal Code § 32.21(b) establishes that an alleged offender commits forgery if he or she forges a writing with intent to defraud or harm another. The term “forge” is defined under Texas Penal Code § 32.21(a)(1) as meaning:

  • to alter, make, complete, execute, or authenticate any writing so that it purports to be the act of another 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;
  • to issue, transfer, register the transfer of, pass, publish, or otherwise utter a writing that is forged within the meaning of Paragraph (A); or
  • to possess a writing that is forged within the meaning of Paragraph (A) with intent to utter it in a manner specified in Paragraph (B).

Texas Penal Code § 32.21(a)(2) defines "writing" as including:

  • printing or any other method of recording information;
  • money, coins, tokens, stamps, seals, credit cards, badges, and trademarks; and
  • symbols of value, right, privilege, or identification.

Under Texas Penal Code § 32.21(f), a person is presumed to intend to defraud or harm another party if he or she acts with respect to two or more writings of the same type and if each writing is a government record listed in Texas Penal Code § 37.01(2)(C). Under that statute, a governmental record means a license, certificate, permit, seal, title, letter of patent, or similar document issued by government, by another state, or by the United States.

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Forgery Penalties in Collin County

Texas Penal Code § 32.21(e) establishes that forgery is a third-degree felony punishable by up to 10 years in prison and/or a fine of up to $10,000 if the writing is or purports to be:

  • part of an issue of money, securities, postage or revenue stamps;
  • a government record listed in Texas Penal Code § 37.01(2)(C); or
  • other instruments issued by a state or national government or by a subdivision of either, or part of an issue of stock, bonds, or other instruments representing interests in or claims against another person.

Forgery is a state jail felony punishable by up to two years in state jail and/or a fine of up to $10,000 under Texas Penal Code § 32.21(d) if the writing is or purports to be:

  • a will;
  • codicil;
  • deed;
  • deed of trust;
  • mortgage;
  • security instrument;
  • security agreement;
  • credit card;
  • check;
  • authorization to debit an account at a financial institution; or
  • similar sight order for payment of money, contract, release, or other commercial instrument.

In all other cases, Texas Penal Code § 32.21(c) establishes that forgery is a Class A misdemeanor offense punishable by up to one year in jail and/or a fine of up to $4,000. Texas Penal Code § 32.21(e-1), however, states that any forgery offense can be increased to the next higher category if the alleged offense was committed against an elderly individual, defined by Texas Penal Code § 22.04 as a person 65 years of age or older.

If an alleged victim of a forgery offense is an elderly individual, a Class A misdemeanor becomes a state jail felony and a state jail felony becomes a third-degree felony. A third-degree felony forgery offense would become a second-degree felony punishable by up to 20 years in prison and/or a fine of up to $10,000.

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Texas Forgery Resources

Investigators | Collin County Criminal District Attorney — The Investigations Division of the Collin County Criminal District Attorney’s Office includes investigators trained in specific job-related specialties such as fingerprint comparison, handwriting analysis, computer forensics, and fraud detection. Criminal investigators are assigned to a trial team or specialized division within the District Attorney’s Office. Visit this section of the district attorney’s website to view a list of current District Attorney Investigators and their assignments.

Collin County Criminal District Attorney
2100 Bloomdale Rd., Suite 100
McKinney, TX 75071
(972) 422-1850

Fraud | City of Plano — Visit this section of the City of Plano website to learn more about what to do if you are the victim of a fraud crime. You can find helpful tips and a link to file an online report with the Plano Police Department. If you the identity of an alleged offender who committed forgery, you should call the police department instead.

The City of Plano
1520 K Ave.
Plano, TX 75074
(972) 941-7000

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Law Offices of Richard C. McConathy | Plano Forgery Defense Lawyer

Were you arrested or do you believe that you might be under investigation for an alleged forgery crime anywhere in Collin County? Do not say anything to authorities without legal counsel. Contact Law Offices of Richard C. McConathy as soon as you can.

Plano criminal defense attorneys Richard McConathy and Brian Bolton represent individuals all over Collin County, including Plano, McKinney, Frisco, Allen, and several other nearby communities. They can review your case and help you understand all of your legal options as soon as you call (972) 805-8855 or complete an online contact form to schedule a free initial consultation.

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