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Los Angeles Forgery Defense Lawyer

Forgery in LA – Penal Code Section 470

Penal Code Section 470 is the section that controls forgery charges in LA.  When it comes to forgery, obviously authorities take these types of cases very seriously because a lot of times the person is assuming the identity of another person and it causes a couple of things.  One, they’re usually taking some sort of property or money away from the person and two, it usually creates some sort of a debt or credit issue for that person and obviously this is very difficult to get off and is in the same vein as identity theft.  So, forgery cases are taken very seriously in LA county courthouses.

In order to be charged and convicted of forgery, obviously you’re going to either have to sign somebody else’s name and receive some sort of benefit from it – whether it be money, property or some advantage.  So, if you’re charged with forgery in Los Angeles county, your best first move is to sit down with a criminal defense attorney who is familiar with the courthouse where your case is pending and who has handled these types of cases before.  Now, in today’s culture and society with Prop 47 passing in California, a lot of these forgery cases can be mitigated down to misdemeanors and people can avoid jail or prison time.   Whereas in the past, when it came to forgery cases in Los Angeles, the prosecutors and judges were very harsh, and people would be looking at jail sentences and their reputation tarnished.  Forgery cases are typically filed in LA when somebody takes enough property by forging someone’s signature or gains some sort of an advantage.  A lot of times I’m seeing people doing counterfeiting activities or getting driver’s licenses by way of forgery and then the authorities become involved and they prosecute the case.  A lot of times getting your side of the story across in these forgery cases in LA is crucial, because then all the pieces are put in place and the prosecutors and judge can see the other side of what happened, and a lot of times they’ll be more lenient when it comes to these types of cases.

So, whether the case is filed as a felony or a misdemeanor really depends on what you did, how serious the crime was, how much property or value was lost and what your criminal records looks like.

 

What are Defenses to Forgery Cases In Los Angeles – Penal Code Section 470?

One of the main defenses, obviously is that I’m not the person that signed this and you can’t prove that I signed it.  In trying to prove that people sign certain things, either the prosecutors will use witnesses, or they’ll use handwriting experts.  Handwriting experts are questionable in my opinion, having done a lot of these forgery-related offenses by use of a handwriting expert.  A lot of times I can block the handwriting expert’s opinion from coming in if their opinion was that you were the one who signed the document.  What they can get in though is if they see a comparison between your signature and the signature of whatever the forged document appears to be.  They can say certain things look the same in order to be able to try to convict you and obviously, we would be able to get our own handwriting expert to try to refute whatever it is they’re saying.  So, there are defenses to these forgery cases, but of course there’s no cookie-cutter defense.  It’s going to be contingent upon the facts and circumstances surrounding your case as to whether or not you’ve got a defense for your forgery-related case.

So, really what I do is, I’ll have you come in and have you tell me what happened obviously with no spin and no omissions.  Give me really what happened under the cloak of the attorney-client privilege, so we can figure out what your best moves are going forward.  If we’re going to trial, then we’ll structure the case up.  We will do the investigation and we’ll set things up to take it to trial.  If on the other hand, they’ve got the evidence against you then we’re going to try to do damage control and mitigate things and get character letters and give your version of events as to what happened, so we can try to get you the least possible punishment.  What we’re really looking to do is giving you an idea of what you can do to help in your case and what I’m going to do – a plan to be executed so that you can get yourself out of the criminal justice system as fast as possible, protect your rights, your freedom, your reputation and deal with your case in the most effective way possible.

In summary, there are different types of Forgery crimes that can be committed, the most common being Forgery by False Signature and Forgery by Endorsement.

Forgery by False Signature

To prove that the defendant is guilty of this crime, the People must prove that:

1. The defendant signed someone else’s name or a false name to a document;
2. The defendant did not have authority to sign that name;
3. The defendant knew that they did not have that authority;
AND
4. When the defendant signed the document, they intended to defraud.

Forgery by Endorsement

To prove that the defendant is guilty of this crime, the People must prove that:

1. The defendant signed the back of a check with the name of the payee of that check, or the name of another person whose signature was required to cash that check;
2. The defendant did not have authority to sign that name;
3. The defendant knew that they did not have that authority;
AND
4. When the defendant signed the document, they intended to defraud.

If you are facing forgery charges, it is very important to obtain a defense lawyer. Contact our Los Angeles Theft Crime Attorneys immediately and set up a free consultation (866) 986-2092. We will be your advocate and fight on your behalf.

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