According to Florida Statute §831.01, forgery is a crime, in which a person's intention is to defraud or injure another entity or person by altering, forging, counterfeiting, or falsifying a document that carries a legal efficacy.
Legal efficacy is a mandatory thing in forgery. That said, a document must have a legal significance that can affect someone in legal terms. If a love letter is forged, it will not be considered as a criminal forgery. Legal documents may include testaments, wills, insurance policies, receipts, bill of lading, deeds, powers of attorney, checks, passage tickets, promissory notes, and other similar documents that must be notarized or certified by the law.
Uttering vs. forging
Uttering forged documents is a different crime, and forging a document is a different crime. Forgery is a crime where a forged document is created, but uttering forged documents means distributing forged documents.
Penalties for Forgery
In Florida, forgery is considered a felony of the third degree, and it is ranked as the offense of level 1 as per the Criminal punishment code of Florida. A person, if found guilty of such charges, may face any of the following legal punishments:
Imprisonment that may extend to 5 years
Probation that may extend to 5 years.
A fine of $5,000
Defenses to forgery
Intent to Defraud
For a legal document to be proved as forged, the prosecutor must prove that intention behind the forged document was to make it look as genuine.
Contact Criminal Defense Lawyer Larry Avallone
If you have been charged or arrested in the Daytona Beach area, contact Larry Avallone, who is an expert Criminal Defense Lawyer in Volusia County. My initial consultation is completely free. I am ready to provide legal advice regarding the next steps in your case.