Georgia Forgery Laws

Forgery is a crime that involves the production or alteration of a document used to deceive someone. Forged checks, identification cards, contracts, or works of art have been used in a variety of schemes to defraud others. Georgia forgery laws punish the production, possession, and utterance of forged documents.

Intent Issues

Only those intentionally using forgeries are punished. If, for example, you purchased a forged concert ticket thinking it was genuine you would not be guilty of forgery. On the other hand, if you purchased a ticket knowing it was forged and got caught with it, or got caught trying to pass it off, you would be guilty of forgery, even if you weren't involved in producing the fake.

Statute Georgia Code, Title 16, Chapter 9, Forgery and Fraudulent Practices
Degrees of Forgery

Georgia forgery laws punish a person who, with intent to defraud:

  • Forgery in the First Degree: knowingly makes, alters, or possesses any writing other than a check in a fictitious name or allegedly made by another person who did not give that authority, that they then utter or deliver.
  • Forgery in the Second Degree: knowingly makes, alters, or possesses any writing other than a check in a fictitious name or allegedly made by another person who did not give that authority.
  • Forgery in the Third Degree:
    • knowingly makes, alters, or possesses and utters or delivers any check in the amount of $1,500 or more in a fictitious name or allegedly made by another person who did not give that authority; or
    • possesses ten or more checks written without specified amounts in a fictitious name or allegedly made by another person who did not give that authority.
  • Forgery in the Fourth Degree:
    • knowingly makes, alters, possesses, utters, or delivers any check written in the amount of less than $1,500 in a fictitious name or allegedly made by another person who did not give that authority; or
    • possesses less than ten checks written without specified amounts in a fictitious name or allegedly made by another person who did not give that authority.
Penalties

Georgia forgery laws are punished as follows:

  • Forgery in the First Degree: A felony punishable by 1-15 years in prison;
  • Forgery in the Second Degree: A felony punishable by 1-5 years in prison;
  • Forgery in the Third Degree: A felony punishable by 1-5 years in prison;
  • Forgery in the Fourth Degree: A misdemeanor punishable by up to a year in prison, though the third and subsequent convictions for such an offense make this a felony punishable by 1-5 years in prison.

Note: State laws are always subject to change through the passage of new legislation, rulings in the higher courts (including federal decisions), ballot initiatives, and other means. While we strive to provide the most current information available, please consult an attorney or conduct your own legal research to verify the state law(s) you are researching.

Related Resources

If you would like to learn more about forgery and Georgia forgery laws, the following links provide additional information:

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