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Texas Forgery Laws

Overview of Texas Forgery Laws

Texas forgery law makes it a crime to forge a "writing" with intent to defraud or harm another person. If the defendant is being charged with having forged two or more writings, then there will be a presumption that he or she did intend to defraud another person. A type of fraud-related crime, a writing can be any of the following things:

  • Any kind of printed or recorded information (including a signature)
  • Money, coins, tokens, stamps, seals, credit cards, badges and trademarks
  • Symbols of value, right, privilege or identification

Example: Bob made a forged copy of a rare coin and wanted to sell it to Joe since he knew Joe enjoyed collecting rare coins. He told Joe that it was an authentic rare coin and Joe believed him and purchased the forged coin. Bob has committed forgery.

Texas Forgery Laws: The Basics

Below you will see more specifics about Texas forgery laws, including relevant statutes, possible defenses, and where to go to find an experienced criminal defense attorney if you are charged with this crime.

Statutes

Elements of Forgery

  • make, sign, or alter any written document by signing another person’s name, by altering the time or place of signature, or in order to pass off the writing as a copy of an original that does not exist
  • make false entries in records or books
  • use, present, or transfer a forged item (also known as “uttering” a forged instrument), or
  • possess a forged instrument with the intent to utter it.

Possible Defenses

  • Lack of intent to defraud or harm another person
  • Age (Minors may get lighter punishments than adults)
  • The writing was not forged
  • Mistaken identity
  • Good faith belief that person was authorized to sign or alter the document

Penalties

  • If the forgery is paper money, stocks or bonds, postage or revenue stamps, a government record, or an item issued by a state or national government: felony of the third degree punishable by two to 10 years in prison and a fine up to $10,000.
  • If the forgery is a will, deed, mortgage, security instrument or agreement, check, credit card, contract, release, or authorization to for payment of money or to debit a financial account: state jail felony punishable by 18 months to 2 years in jail and a fine up to $10,000.
  • Any other forged documents may be charged and punished as a Class A misdemeanor punishable by up to one year in jail or a fine up to $4,000, or both.
Note: If the victim is an elderly person, the offense is automatically increased to the next higher category.

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.

Texas Forgery Laws: Related Resources

Next Steps: Get a Free Case Review

If you have been accused of forging a writing with the intent to defraud another person, you’ll want a strong legal advocate on your side. If you are convicted, you could face major jail time, a huge fine, and a criminal record. Why not take the steps now to safeguard your future? Learn more about the possible defenses available to you with a free case review from an experienced Texas criminal defense attorney.

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