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What if I am charged with forgery in Indiana?

A white collar crime in Indiana can carry with it similar or worse penalties than other types of crime involving violence. An example of a white collar crime that is treated very seriously by law enforcement is forgery. For those who are facing charges related to forgery, it is imperative to understand exactly how the law views these infractions and to formulate a strong defense against the charges.

Forgery can quickly expand into other charges. For example, if a person signs another person's name to a check and tries to cash it, there can be charges beyond forgery such as identity theft and fraud. If the prosecution chooses to, other allegations and charges can be levied. For there to be a conviction for forgery, it must be shown that the person acted with the intent to defraud and used a document to pose as another person. That document can be a check, a prescription, a bond, a deed, a money order and more. In general, the act is treated as if the person was using another person's name for personal and illegal gain.

In Indiana, there are several levels of forgery and counterfeiting and they have a variety of different penalties depending on the circumstances. Forgery is a Level 6 felony. For a person convicted, he or she will face as much as eight years in prison and could be fined as much as $10,000. Counterfeiting is a Level 5 felony. A conviction can lead to between six months and three years in prison with a fine of up to $10,000. It should be remembered that an application fraud such as falsely applying for a driver's license or other document is a Class D felony. The penalties are the same as they are for counterfeiting.

There could be a variety of reasons why a person is caught up in an investigation related to forgery. Perhaps there are addiction issues leading to prescription forgery. There could be extenuating circumstances. Or maybe the person simply made a mistake. Since law enforcement and prosecutors take forgery and other similar crimes seriously, the first thing a person should do when arrested for white collar crimes is to discuss the case with a qualified and experienced attorney.

Source: statelaws.findlaw.com, "Indiana Forgery Laws," accessed on Oct. 31, 2017

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