Dumfries Forgery Lawyer
Forgery is a serious crime and could potentially have serious short and long-term consequences. A person should contact a Dumfries forgery lawyer immediately if they know that they are being investigated or charged with forgery. The primary reason for that is to prevent the government from talking to the person and trying to get either an explanation or a confession. These are things that should always be managed by an experienced attorney who is going to be handling the case.
What is Forgery?
Forgery in its purest form is the falsification of a signature for some benefit to the person who is falsifying that signature. There are a number of different statutes in Virginia that govern the issue of forging signatures. Some include forging of public records, which can be a Class 4 felony if a person is convicted.
Forging some financial documents can indicate a Class 4 felony as well. Other forgery instances can constitute a Class 5 felony. Suffice it to say, any forgery-based crime is going to be charged as a felony in Virginia.
Common Examples of Forgery
Check fraud very often involves the signing of the account holder’s name on the check by someone who’s seeking to obtain money from that account. Similarly, credit card fraud can involve the signing of the account holder’s name as well. Those are the two main types of fraud charges that involve forgery because conducting any electronic financial transaction does require the signature of the account holder. Therefore, if someone is attempting to acquire money from an account without the account holder’s permission, the person is almost always going to need to sign the account holder’s name in order to do it.
Consequences and Penalties
There are a number of forgery-related statutes in Virginia, the vast majority of which carry either a Class 4 designation or a Class 5 designation as felonies. If it is a Class 4 felony, the result is two to ten years in prison. If it’s a Class 5 felony, it’s one to ten years in prison.
Essential Forgery Evidence
There are several important pieces of evidence that can impact someone’s forgery case. The government must prove in any forgery case that a person signed another person’s name on a document without that person’s permission and with the intent to gain some benefit from having done so. The benefit does not necessarily need to be financial in nature. A very common type of forgery is somebody getting stopped on the side of the road for speeding or some other traffic violation, claiming not to have any identification and claiming to be someone else, and then a ticket is written in that other person’s name. If they sign that other person’s name on the ticket, that is a Class 4 felony in Virginia. So, while the person might not be gaining anything financially from the person whose name they forged, it certainly puts that person at great risk of financial penalty, possible license suspension, or possibly even a warrant for the other person’s arrest if the charge is serious enough and no one shows up to court.
Benefits of a Dumfries Forgery Lawyer
Forgery cases can be difficult for the government to prove and one needs to have an attorney who is well-versed in financial crimes and fraud-based crimes to determine whether or not the government’s evidence is going to be sufficient to cross the threshold that they are required to cross at trial, which is beyond a reasonable doubt. Beyond a reasonable doubt can be tricky in financial cases, particularly when the government does not have a statement or a confession from the person they are accusing.
There might be a number of different ways that evidence can be challenged by the defense team at trial and only a seasoned lawyer is going to know how to do that and whether or not evidence can be challenged at all. Having a Dumfries forgery lawyer by one’s side is absolutely critical if a person is charged with any forgery-based crime because if they are convicted, they could be facing a significant jail sentence.