In Texas, the crime of forgery contemplates a variety of actions. If you execute or alter a “writing” so that it purports to be the act of another, without that person’s authorization, you’re guilty of forgery. Similarly, if you issue or attempt to pass a forged document, or possess a forged document with the intent to do so, you are likewise guilty of forgery. A “writing” includes, among other things, printed materials (e.g., checks), money, coins, tokens, stamps, seals, credit cards, badges, and trademarks. For a complete listing, please
see the forgery statute, referenced below.
Unless otherwise specified, forgery is considered a Class A misdemeanor, and is punishable by up to 1 year in the county jail, and up to a $4000 fine. If the forgery is alleged to involve a will, codicil, deed, deed of trust, mortgage, security instrument, security agreement, credit card, check, or an authorization to debit an account at a financial institution, it’s considered a state jail felony, for which the penalty range is from 180 days to 2 years in the state jail, and up to a $10,000 fine. And if the alleged forgery involves money, securities, postage or revenue stamps, or a governmental record, it’s punishable as a third degree felony, for which you can receive 2 to 20 years in state prison, and a fine of up to $10,000. Also, if the alleged victim is an elderly person, the offense is enhanced to the next highest penalty range (e.g., a forgery that would otherwise be a third degree felony is charged as a second degree felony, if alleged to have been commited against an elderly person).
Have you been arrested or charged with forgery? If so, you need serious legal representation. Call the experienced Dallas criminal defense lawyers at Berlof & Newton, P.C. 214.827.2800. Free consultation. Our attorneys have many years of experience practicing criminal law, and will represent you zealously in court. Call today, or contact one of our lawyers by using the “Get Legal Help Now!” form in the left margin of this website. Se habla español.
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Texas Penal Code Section 32.21. FORGERY. (a) For purposes of this section:
(1) “Forge” means:
(A) to alter, make, complete, execute, or authenticate any writing so that it purports:
(i) to be the act of another who did not authorize that act;
(ii) to have been executed at a time or place or in a numbered sequence other than was in fact the case; or
(iii) to be a copy of an original when no such original existed;
(B) to issue, transfer, register the transfer of, pass, publish, or otherwise utter a writing that is forged within the meaning of Paragraph (A); or
(C) 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).
(2) “Writing” includes:
(A) printing or any other method of recording information;
(B) money, coins, tokens, stamps, seals, credit cards, badges, and trademarks; and
(C) symbols of value, right, privilege, or identification.
(b) A person commits an offense if he forges a writing with intent to defraud or harm another.
(c) Except as provided by Subsections (d), (e), and (e-1), an offense under this section is a Class A misdemeanor.
(d) An offense under this section is a state jail felony 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.
(e) An offense under this section is a felony of the third degree if the writing is or purports to be:
(1) part of an issue of money, securities, postage or revenue stamps;
(2) a government record listed in Section 37.01(2)(C); or
(3) 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.
(e-1) An offense under this section is increased to the next higher category of offense if it is shown on the trial of the offense that the offense was committed against an elderly individual as defined by Section 22.04.
(f) 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 listed in Section 37.01(2)(C).
Acts 1973, 63rd Leg., p. 883, ch. 399, Sec. 1, eff. Jan. 1, 1974. Amended by Acts 1991, 72nd Leg., ch. 113, Sec. 2, eff. Sept. 1, 1991; Acts 1993, 73rd Leg., ch. 900, Sec. 1.01, eff. Sept. 1, 1994; Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 189, Sec. 1, eff. May 21, 1997; Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 1104, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 2003.
Acts 2009, 81st Leg., R.S., Ch. 670, Sec. 1, eff. September 1, 2009.