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Texas Penal Code § 32.21 - FORGERY FINANCIAL INSTR, FORGE WRITING OR FORGERY GOV/NATIONAL
Forgery Defense Attorney in San Antonio, Texas
Forgery is a crime in the state of Texas, punishable under Section 32.21 of the Texas Penal Code. It is defined as the act of making, altering, or using a false document or instrument with the intent to defraud or deceive. This can include things like counterfeiting money, forging a signature, or creating a fake document.
There are several different types of forgery that can be prosecuted under Texas law. These include:
Forgery of a financial instrument: This is the most common type of forgery, and it refers to the act of creating or altering a financial document with the intent to defraud. Examples include counterfeiting money, forging a check, or creating a fake credit card.
Forgery of a government document: It is illegal to create or alter a government document with the intent to deceive. This can include things like forging a driver's license, passport, or birth certificate.
Forgery of a writing by another: This refers to the act of forging someone else's signature or writing. This can include things like signing someone else's name on a contract or check.
In Texas, forgery is considered a "crime of moral turpitude," which means that it is viewed as particularly reprehensible by society. This can have serious consequences beyond just the criminal penalties, as it can impact a person's ability to find employment, obtain professional licenses, and even immigration status.
If you have been charged with forgery in Texas, it is important to seek the help of a qualified criminal defense attorney as soon as possible. An experienced attorney can help you navigate the legal process and protect your rights.
Definition of “Forge” in Texas
Texas law has a specific definition of what it means to “Forge” a document or writing.
Here is the full text of Texas Penal Code Section 32.21(a)(1):
(1) "Forge" means:
(A) to alter, make, complete, execute, or authenticate any writing so that it purports:
(i) to be the act of another who did not authorize that act;
(ii) to have been executed at a time or place or in a numbered sequence other than was in fact the case; or
(iii) to be a copy of an original when no such original existed;
(B) to issue, transfer, register the transfer of, pass, publish, or otherwise utter a writing that is forged within the meaning of Paragraph (A); or
(C) to possess a writing that is forged within the meaning of Paragraph (A) with intent to utter it in a manner specified in Paragraph (B).
In other words, if the defendant intentionally creates or alters a document in a way that makes it appear to be genuine when it is not, or uses a fake document with the intent to defraud or deceive, they can be charged with forgery. This can include things like counterfeiting money, forging a signature, or creating a fake document.
In addition to making or altering a false document, Texas law also prohibits the act of "passing" a forged document. This means using or attempting to use a forged document in order to defraud or deceive. For example, if someone tries to use a fake driver's license to buy alcohol, they could be charged with forgery.
Finally, Texas law also prohibits the possession of forged documents with the intent to sell or distribute them. This means that simply having a forged document in your possession, with the intention of selling it or giving it to someone else, can be considered forgery.
It is important to note that in order to be charged with forgery under Texas Penal Code Section 32.21(a)(1), the prosecutor must be able to prove that the defendant had the specific intent to defraud or deceive. Simply making a mistake or accidentally using a false document is not sufficient to constitute forgery.
Defenses to Forgery in Texas
If you have been charged with forgery in the state of Texas, it is important to understand the defenses that may be available to you. While the specific defenses available will depend on the circumstances of your case, there are several common defenses that are often raised in forgery cases.
Lack of intent: To be convicted of forgery in Texas, the prosecutor must be able to prove that the defendant had the specific intent to defraud or deceive. If the defendant did not intend to mislead or benefit from the deception, they cannot be found guilty of forgery.
Lack of knowledge: In order to be found guilty of forgery, the defendant must have known that the document was forged. If the defendant was unaware that the document was fake, they cannot be convicted of forgery.
Mistake: If the defendant made a mistake when signing or creating a document, but did not have the intent to defraud or deceive, they may be able to use that mistake as a defense. For example, if a person accidentally wrote the wrong amount on a check, they would not be guilty of forgery.
Entrapment: If the defendant was induced or persuaded by law enforcement to commit the forgery, they may be able to use entrapment as a defense. This means that the forgery would not have been committed but for the actions of the police.
It is important to note that these are just a few of the potential defenses to forgery in Texas. The specific defenses available in your case will depend on the facts and circumstances involved. If you have been charged with forgery, it is essential to speak with a qualified criminal defense attorney to determine the best defense strategy for your case.