Can I Go to Prison for Forgery?
Forgery, a type of white collar crime under the Calgary Criminal Code, means imitating, falsifying, or attempting to pass off signatures or documents as genuine. In order to qualify as forgery, the document at issue must normally affect someone’s legal rights.
Individuals who commit crimes of identity theft or fraud sometimes use forgery as a means of accomplishing those ends. If you face charges for the crime of forgery in Calgary—and you are convicted—you will likely be facing serious penalties, including fines and even jail time. The skilled team of Calgary defence lawyers at Bourdon Defence can defend you in your case and work to minimize any conviction penalties.
Types of Forgery Charges
Surprisingly, forgery charges often have nothing to do with stealing money or forging checks. Forgery charges can arise in the following circumstances:
- Possessing any type of falsified written instrument
- Falsely altering, manufacturing, or changing a check, document, paper, or any other type of legal paper or instrument
- Offering or presenting a document that has been falsified or forged as genuine
In addition to the unlawful act, the person must also have the necessary mental state in order to receive a forgery conviction. Specifically, the person must have the specific intent to defraud another person. The crime of forgery is also complete once a person creates the forged document with the necessary specific intent to defraud. It does not matter that a person who creates the forged document has no intention that another person act on or use the document.
Potential Penalties for Forgery
In order to receive a criminal penalty for forgery, the Crown prosecutor must be able to meet his or her burden of proof and demonstrate guilt. If the accused is ultimately found guilty of committing a crime of forgery, then it typically falls upon a judge to pass sentence in the case. The crime of forgery is a hybrid crime, meaning that it may be prosecuted as an indictable offence or as a summary conviction offence. If the crime is prosecuted as an indictable offence, then the accused is subject to a maximum prison sentence of ten years. The same penalties are applicable to someone convicted of using, trafficking, or possessing a forged document.
Hire a Calgary Forgery Defence Lawyer Today
As you can tell, the penalties associated with a forgery conviction can be serious and can subject you to incarceration. Consequently, if you are facing a forgery charge, you want to do everything in your power to minimize the likelihood of obtaining a guilty finding or conviction in the first place. If you are unable to do that and you ultimately receive a conviction for forgery, you need a lawyer on your side who can help you minimize the sentencing outcome. The experienced forgery defence lawyers at Bourdon Defence can help you do just that by advocating for you before a sentencing judge in court. To arrange a free consultation and case evaluation with a Calgary forgery defence lawyer, feel free to give us a call at (403) 474-4143, or contact us online today.