What is Forgery? What are the Consequences of Forgery in GA?
Our Gwinnett County criminal defense attorney explains the different types of forgery charges in Georgia and the serious penalties you could be facing if convicted.
Forgery involves committing some type of fraud either against a person, group, or institution. It includes falsifying important documents, personal identification, or works of art, and illegally copying and using someone’s signature. Our Gwinnett County criminal defense attorney explains the different categories of forgery charges in Georgia and the consequences you could face for each.
Forgery Crimes in Georgia
Forgery involves deceiving an individual or institution by falsifying documents for the purpose of illegally obtaining funds, profits, or some other personal gain. It is charged as either a felony or misdemeanor crime in Georgia, depending on the circumstances involved. Under the Georgia Criminal Code, there are four categories of forgery crimes:
- Forgery in the first degree: This involves knowingly making, altering, or possessing any type of writing, other than a check, in a fictitious name or that purports to be from another person or authority and delivering the forged item.
- Forgery in the second degree: This involves the same elements as a forgery in the first degree, but rather than delivering the item, the forgery is simply in your possession.
- Forgery in the third degree: This involves knowingly making, altering, or falsifying signatures on a check. Specifically, you could face charges of forgery in the third degree for having ten or more forged checks in your possession.
- Forgery in the fourth degree: This involves knowingly making, altering, or falsifying checks. Similar to the above, forgery in the fourth degree involves ten or fewer checks.
Penalties for Forgery Crimes in Gwinnett County
If you are facing any type of forgery charges in the Gwinnett County Court, it is important to get an experienced criminal defense attorney on your side right away. Police, prosecutors, and judges take forgery crimes seriously and penalties you could be facing include:
- For forgery in the first, second, or third-degree: These are felony offenses, with fines of $1,000 or more and up to a five-year prison sentence.
- For a first or second conviction of forgery in the fourth degree: This is a misdemeanor crime, with penalties up to $1,000 in fines and up to a one-year jail sentence.
- For a third or subsequent conviction of forgery in the fourth conviction: Repeated offenses are classified as felony crimes, resulting in additional fines and imprisonment.
In addition to the above, you could also be facing federal felony charges if you defrauded a government institution or individuals in multiple states. This could subject you to asset seizure, restitution payments, and a mandatory minimum sentence in federal prison.
Discuss Your Case With Our Gwinnett County Criminal Defense Attorneys
To protect yourself against potentially severe penalties for forgery in Georgia, get our legal team at Zimmerman & Associates on your side. Give us a call or contact our Gwinnett County criminal defense attorneys online and request a free consultation to discuss your case today.