DC Forgery Lawyer

A person commits forgery when he or she makes or passes a forged written instrument and in doing so, intends to defraud or injure another person or an entity. The person makes a written instrument, a written document, which claims to be legitimate and genuine but is not because it was falsely made, falsely signed, or contains false information.

The term ‘utter’ means that a person issues, publishes, delivers, or transmits the forged instrument in some fashion. The person created it and then passed it along through some fashion of transaction. The written instrument can be some titled checks, documents, a letter of credit, any commercial paper, or any security.

Forgery is to fraudulently make or alter a written instrument and then pass it along to another. Then, that person can be convicted of forgery if he or she does so with the intent to defraud someone else.

It is important to contact a DC forgery lawyer because the law has very specific requirements that the government must prove. By consulting with a DC criminal defense attorney with forgery case experience, a person charged with forgery can be sure that every possible defense is being explored and all their rights are being protected.

Common Charges

Fraud and forgery go hand-in-hand. Part of the forgery statute is that someone passes a forged written instrument with the intent to defraud another person. The person passing the forged written instrument can also be charged with fraud.

For example, someone makes some form of bogus or fraudulent documentary receipt and passes it to another person with the intent to defraud them. In that situation, they could be charged with both forgery and fraud.

A forgery lawyer in Washington DC is likely familiar with both fraud and forgery cases and will be able to build a robust defense against each charge, benefiting the defendant.


In certain circumstances, forgery can be a serious felony with imprisonment for up to 10 years. In all cases, forgery is a felony.

Depending upon the type of written instrument or the dollar amounts involved, it can be a felony with a maximum penalty of 10 years, a maximum penalty of five years, or a maximum penalty of three years.


The government must prove that there was an actual written instrument created or altered by the person charged with forgery and they made those instruments or changes with the intent to defraud another person.

The government must establish that:

  • The written instrument exists,
  • The person charged made, altered, or transmitted the written instrument, and
  • The person charged did so with the intent to defraud.

A forgery lawyer in DC understands the complexities of the evidence and proof required and is any defendant’s best chance at defeating these charges.

Electronic Signatures & Transactions

Trends such as electronic signatures change the process of collecting evidence. Currently, many transactions are electronic as opposed to the standard, traditional written instruments. People use a variety of online shopping websites where they are not actually writing a check but are providing credit card information online.

Most websites have forms online where a person can type in their name and it specifically says that that is legally-accepted as a signature. Forgery could apply in that situation if a person claims to be someone else or claims to provide accurate information but, in fact, he or she is not.

In that situation, the evidence is all in electronic format. The government must backtrack and establish what computer was used, what accounts were used, to whom those accounts belong, or who used them.

The manner of evidence collection and the mode of the evidence, electronic or written, is different. However, it is still the same generally in that an individual could tie the person charged to a specific instrument, document, or transaction and establish that they knowingly intended to defraud the other party.

Benefit of an Attorney

A person can benefit from having a DC forgery lawyer by their side during a forgery case to make sure that everything is being done in their best interest, all avenues of defense are being explored, and all evidence is properly challenged.

The lawyer can ensure that that the government’s attempts to convict an individual are not successful by identifying any issues with the evidence in the case and use that to the client’s advantage. The lawyer ensures that their client’s rights are protected and that no false steps or mistakes are made.