You can be charged with forgery, if you alter any type of writing in such a way that it suggests that it’s been written by someone else. Hence, you can be arrested for forgery if you sign someone else’s name while endorsing a check, executing a legal document, etc. Not only can a forged document get you in trouble, but possession of a forged document with the intent to pass it can also land you in jail for forgery.
Texas Forgery Statute
Under the Texas forgery statute, a “writing” contemplates a number of different scenarios, including money, printed materials, coins, checks, seals, stamps, trademarks, and credit cards. Generally, forgery is charged as a class A misdemeanor, which carries a penalty range of up to one year in the county jail, and a fine not to exceed $4000. More specifically, if the alleged act of forgery concerns a deed, will, security instrument, deed of trust, check, credit card, authorization for debit, or mortgage, the forgery charge is classified as a state jail felony, which can result in a sentence from 180 days to two years in the state jail, and a fine in an amount of no more than $10,000.
Additionally, if the forgery, concerns securities, cash, stamps, or a governmental record, you could be facing a 3rd degree felony. In Texas, third degree felonies carry a punishment scheme of two to ten years in the state penitentiary, and a fine of $10,000 or less.
Finally, if the victim of an alleged forgery is elderly, the Texas Penal Code provides for an enhancement of the charge to one degree of offense greater than what the charge would have been, were the alleged victim not an elderly person. For example, a third degree felony charge would be enhanced to a second degree felony, if the alleged victim is over 65.
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