Forgery is a third-degree felony in the State of Florida, punishable by a maximum of 5 years in state prison.
Forgery is defined as falsely attesting to, altering, or counterfeiting a record that may be received as legal proof, such as a check or a property deed. If you forge a check, you could find yourself charged with forgery, uttering a forged instrument, and theft (either grand theft or petit theft depending on the value if the check is cashed or deposited and you receive funds).
Forgery may be tougher to prove than you would think. First, the state must prove that you knowingly and intentionally forged a document. If the forgery is a false signature, the state may be required to use a handwriting expert to prove that the signature on the document is not authentic.
Plea offers in forgery cases can range from PTI (Pretrial Intervention) or probation up to prison time. If money was received by the accused as a result of the forgery, restitution may be part of a plea agreement.
If you are facing forgery charges in Miami or Broward, call me.
Eric Matheny is a Miami criminal attorney and Broward criminal attorney.