Miami Forgery Defense Attorney
Serving Fort Lauderdale & the Surrounding Counties
Forgery is the unlawful act of creating or altering a document or other instrument for fraudulent or deceitful purposes. Under state law in Florida, the actual creation of such a document is considered forgery, and any use of forged objects is considered “uttering forged instruments.”
Both crimes are classified as felony offenses, and convictions can carry extremely steep penalties. In addition to lengthy prison sentences and substantial fines, these “crimes of dishonesty” also stay on the criminal records of alleged offenders and can cause immense hardship when it comes to matters concerning employment or housing.
If you were arrested or believe that you could be under investigation for alleged forgery in Florida, it is in your best interest to immediately retain legal counsel. The Hoffman Firm can fight to get your criminal charges reduced or completely dismissed. Our Miami forgery defense attorney, Evan Hoffman, aggressively defends clients accused of these types of white collar crimes in Opa-locka, Miami Beach, Hialeah, South Miami, Fort Lauderdale, and many surrounding communities in Miami-Dade County.
Schedule your free consultation today by calling 305-928-1669 if your case is out of Miami, 954-737-3004 if your case is out of Broward County, or contacting us online.
The Definition of Forgery in Florida
Florida Statute § 831.01 defines forgery as falsely making, altering, forging, or counterfeiting certain types of documents. Under Florida Statute § 831.02, any attempt to use the forged document is considered uttering forged instruments.
The forgery statute specifically refers to public records or certificates, returns, or attestations of any clerk or register of a court, public register, notary public, town clerk, or any public officer, in relation to a matter wherein such certificates, returns, or attestations may be received as a legal proof.
Some of the other common types of forged documents in Florida include, but are not limited to:
- Commercial checks
- Credit card invoices
- Insurance policies
- Letters of attorney
- Money orders
- Personal checks
- Promissory notes
- State of Florida checks
- Stock certificates
- Tickets or passes
- Titles to property
- Travelers’ checks
- U.S. Treasury checks
Related Forgery Crimes
People may also be prosecuted for any one of several related offenses under Chapter 831 of the Florida Statutes relating to forgery and counterfeiting.
Other crimes listed in this chapter include, but are not limited to:
- Offenses involving forging or counterfeiting private labels, Florida Statute § 831.032: Third-degree felony, second-degree felony, and first-degree felony offenses
- Penalty for changing or forging certain instruments of writing, Florida Statute § 831.04: Third-degree felony
- Forging bank bills, checks, drafts, or promissory notes, Florida Statute § 831.07: Third-degree felony
- Possessing certain forged notes, bills, checks, or drafts, Florida Statute § 831.08: Third-degree felony
- Uttering forged bills, checks, drafts, or notes, Florida Statute § 831.09: Third-degree felony
- Bringing into the state forged bank bills, checks, drafts, or notes, Florida Statute § 831.11: Third-degree felony
- Making or possessing instruments for forging bills, Florida Statute § 831.18: Third-degree felony
- Forging or counterfeiting doctor's certificate of examination, Florida Statute § 831.21: Third-degree felony
- Counterfeiting a payment instrument; possessing a counterfeit payment instrument, Florida Statute § 831.28: Third-degree felony
- Making or having instruments and material for counterfeiting driver licenses or identification cards, Florida Statute § 831.29: Second-degree felony
Penalties for Forgery in Miami-Dade County
Both forgery and uttering forged instruments are third-degree felony offenses punishable by a maximum sentence of five years in prison and/or a maximum fine of $5,000. It is important to keep in mind that an alleged offender could face multiple counts of forgery, though. This means that a person who is charged with six counts of forgery could potentially be sentenced to up to 30 years in prison (five years for each count).
In order to be convicted of forgery, Florida Standard Jury Instructions Chapter 17.1 establish that a prosecutor must prove that the alleged offender intended to injure or defraud some person or firm. When a person is accused of uttering forged instruments, Florida Standard Jury Instructions Chapter 17.2 states that the prosecutor must also prove the alleged offender knew the document described in charge was false, altered, forged, or counterfeited.
Criminal intent can be one of the most difficult elements of a forgery offense for any prosecutor to prove, as without any direct evidence of such an admission, intent is typically based on circumstantial evidence. An experienced criminal defense attorney can often use this lack of concrete evidence to get forgery charges reduced or dismissed.
Contact Us Now for a Free Consultation
If you believe you are under investigation for forgery or if you have already been arrested or charged with forgery, do not wait to contact The Hoffman Firm to discuss your case with our Miami forgery defense lawyer. We have been providing aggressive legal defense since 2001, and we are ready to fight for you and your rights.
Our Firm is dedicated to client satisfaction. We are available 24/7 to help those in need.
Decades of Experience
Attorney Evan Hoffman has over two decades of experience fighting for the accused.
Premier Criminal Defense Firm
Experienced Attorney Evan Hoffman has handled some of the most high profile and complex cases.
Proven Track Record
Client satisfaction is our top priority. At The Hoffman Firm we take great pride in our success and case victories.
Florida Former State Prosecutor
Attorney Evan Hoffman has extensive knowledge of the strategies used by prosecutors throughout Florida.
Free Initial Consultation
We offer free initial consultations to ensure that we have your best interests in mind.