Forgery is a crime of deception that is taken very seriously. Often, this crime is committed when a fake document is created or when a factual document is changed. There are several elements that must be present in a forgery case. Challenging these elements is often the basis of a defense against forgery charges.
One of the most important elements in a forgery case is the element of deception. In order for an act to be considered forgery, there must have been an intent to deceive someone. This can be the case is if the signature on a check was forged or if the signature on a financial document was forged. In some cases, these acts can involve making a copy of a person’s signature and applying it to the document without the person knowing what is being done.
There are some instances in which it is legal to copy items. An example would be copying a historical document. Forgery doesn’t occur if the document is copied and represented as a copy. It would only be forgery if the copied document is represented as an original document.
There are several different things that can be forged. Licenses, certifications, historical documents, financial documents, educational diplomas, art objects, identification cards, and contracts are some of these. In some cases, a person who forges these items might be charged with a different crime. For example, a fraud charge might occur if a person tries to sell a forged art object. Counterfeiting might be the charge placed a person who forges currency.
Source: FindLaw, “Forgery,” accessed April 13, 2016