According to A.R.S. §13-2002, a person can be charged with forgery (whether in the Phoenix metro area of anywhere in Arizona) when they alter or fill out an instrument when they have full knowledge the information they provide is false. Forgery charges can also be applied when a person knowingly has a forged instrument in their possession or if they use a forged instrument, even if the instrument is not accepted by the other party. An instrument can also still be consider forged when the signature is correct if any other information, such as an amount, is false.
Once a person has five or more forged instruments in their possession, the statues infer that a person is acting with the intent to defraud. A typical situation that leads to forgery charges in Arizona is when a person fills out a check that they have stolen to someone else to make it payable to themselves. Once this act has been committed, a person will have fit every definition for forgery as outlined by the statute
Are you in need of an experienced forgery lawyer in Arizona? If so, you can get help now by contact DM Cantor at 602-737-2812 or click here to fill out our online form.
Potential Punishments for Forgery
Forgery in Arizona is classified as a class four felony with harsh penalties as outlined below:
- First-offense-probation with up to one year in jail; or,
- One to three and three-quarters years prison sentence
- IF One prior allegeable historical felony prior conviction-two and one-quarter years to seven and one-half year prison term
- IF Two prior allegeable historical felony convictions-six to fifteen years incarceration in prison
Defenses for Forgery Charges in Arizona
Our team of lawyers frequently defends forgery charges by proving that a defendant had authorization and consent from the check’s owner or their legal representative before adding their signature to the instrument. This is a common occurrence when a family member once had prior authorization to sign checks for another person that has been revoked without their knowledge. Spouses, roommates and other living arrangements can also become strained, leading one person to accuse the other of forgery.
Another successful defense strategy involves proving that a person cashed a check without knowledge that the document was forged. This could occur if you were asked by someone else to have a check cashed for them as a favor. Due to the many situations that could arise where you could be incorrectly charged with forgery in Arizona, it is important that we have the opportunity to interview all witnesses to the alleged crime to gather information that can be used to prove your defense.
Our law firm also makes sure we investigate your case from every angle to ensure your charges were properly filed and that you were granted your constitutional rights. If at any point you were forced to self-incriminate or were not given access to a lawyer before questioning, then these situations can also be used in your defense. It is also possible to expose any mistruths in the investigative process done by law enforcement officers that could make your case invalid in the courts.
At DM Cantor, you can get assistance defense attorneys that have experience handling forgery charges. If you need help from an attorney who understands every angle of the system, then contact us on our 24 hour helpline at 602-737-2812 or fill out our online form here for a free initial consultation that will let us start helping you today.