Hundreds of Cases Successfully Handled
Forgery is a serious fraudulent crime that comes with severe – potentially life-changing – penalties. It is in your best interest to keep a forgery conviction off your criminal record.
What Is Forgery?
Under Iowa law, it is forgery if a person intends to defraud another person or if the person has knowledge that a person is facilitating a fraud and:
- Alters the writing of another without the other’s permission
- Transfers or authorizes a writing so that it looks like it is an act of another
- Utters/states a writing which the person knows to be forged in a manner specified above
- Possesses a writing in which a person knows to be forged
If you have been charged with forgery, do not delay in retaining a criminal defense attorney. Our forgery defense lawyer in Des Moines has successfully represented numerous individuals accused of forgery, fraud, and other crimes of dishonesty.
Is Forgery a Felony?
Understanding Forgery Charges
Depending on the circumstances of the alleged incident, forgery can either be charged as a misdemeanor or as a felony.
Forgery is a class D felony when the writing is or is purported to be:
- Part of an issue of money, securities, postage or revenue stamps, or other instruments issued by the government
- Part of an issue of stock, bonds, credit-sale contracts, or claims against any property or enterprise
- A check, draft, or other writing which ostensibly evidences an obligation of the person who has purportedly executed it or authorized its execution
- A document prescribed by law for entry into evidence of authorized stay or employment in the United States
Class D felony forgery is punishable by up to five years in prison and a fine of no more than $10,245 plus 15% surcharge and $100 court costs.
Forgery is an aggravated misdemeanor if the writing is or purports to be a will, deed, contract, release, commercial instrument, or any other writing. This crime is punishable by up to two years and a $8,540 fine plus a 15% surcharge and $100 court costs. You will also be responsible for paying back any and all restitution there may be in the case.
Handling Forgery Cases Effectively
There are usually two key issues in forgery cases:
- Whether the person was authorized to sign the alleged victim’s name to the document
- Whether the person actually signed the alleged victim’s name to the document
These are usually the matters that come before a jury in forgery cases.
If you are charged with forgery, it is likely that the prosecutor has a large amount of evidence against you. Whether forging a signature or copying documents was involved, this is a crime of dishonesty and can heavily impact your ability to obtain or retain a job. If convicted in a forgery case, you will be required to pay back all restitution and a big fine.
Importantly, this type of charge will generally stay on your record for the rest of your life, unless things are done correctly from the beginning. It is essential you obtain a Des Moines forgery defense attorney to poke holes in the prosecutor’s case and give you the best chance at obtaining a not-guilty verdict or having your charge amended or dismissed.
Depending on your criminal background, we can usually argue for a deferred judgment. If we successfully argue for it, the charge can be expunged from your record if you successfully complete probation. This means you can legally say or put on job applications that you were never convicted of the crime.
Honest and Straight Forward Guidance
Not Afraid to go to Trial
Hundreds of Cases Handled
Polk County Simple Misdemeanors Starting as low as $1000