Forgery is the unlawful act of creating or altering of 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.Lawyer for Forgery Offenses in Miami-Dade County, FL
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 these criminal charges reduced or completely dismissed.
Miami criminal defense attorney Evan A. Hoffman aggressively defends clients accused of these types of white collar crimes in Opa-locka, Miami Beach, Hialeah, South Miami, and many surrounding communities in Miami-Dade County. Call (305) 249-0090 or complete an online contact form today to take advantage of a free, confidential consultation that will let our lawyer review your case and discuss your legal options.
North Miami Forgery Information Center
- What is the difference between forgery and uttering forged instruments?
- What are the possible consequences of being convicted for a forgery crime?
- Where can I learn more about forgery offenses in Miami-Dade County?
Florida Forgery Definitions
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; or
Forgery Penalties in Miami-Dade County
Forgery and uttering forged instruments are both classified as third-degree felony offenses. A conviction for a felony of the third degree can result in up to five years in prison and/or a fine of up to $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 state 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.
Florida Resources for Forgery Arrests
Miami-Dade Police Department Citizens Online Police Reporting System — If you have been the victim of a forgery offense, you can use this website to submit a report and print a copy of the police report. In addition to forgery crimes, you can also report lost property, identity theft, fraudulent use of a credit card, and many other offenses. Be sure to review the nine prerequisites before filing any report.
Miami-Dade Police Department
9105 NW 25 St.
Doral, FL 33172
(305) 476-5423 [4-POLICE]
Florida Statutes | Chapter 831 — View the full text of state laws relating to forgery and counterfeiting. You can learn more about specific offenses relating to forging or counterfeiting private labels, forging bank bills, checks, drafts, or promissory notes, and forging or counterfeiting doctor’s certificate of examination.
Do you think you might currently be under investigation or were you arrested for alleged forgery in South Florida? The Hoffman Firm represents clients accused of these offenses all over Miami-Dade County, including such areas as Coral Gables, Key Biscayne, North Miami, Aventura, and many others.
Evan A. Hoffman is a criminal defense attorney in Miami who has experience on both sides of the aisle as a former Assistant State Attorney. This unique perspective will give you a better idea of what to expect in court when you call (305) 249-0090 or submit an online contact form to set up a free consultation.