North Carolina Forgery and Counterfeiting Laws

A typical example of forgery occurs when you possess, create, alter or use a false writing in an attempt to commit fraud. However, forgery refers to a broad range of activities that take many forms including signing a name other than your own on documents such as checks, deeds, or wills, or uttering or trying to cash, transfer, or use a forged item (such as a false ID card) to obtain a line of credit. Committing a forgery is serious business in North Carolina because most of the forgery offenses are felonies.

Counterfeiting in North Carolina

One form of forgery is counterfeiting, which involves materials or services that are not what they purport to be, including securities such as stock certificates and currency. Although the counterfeiting of currency is primarily a federal crime, North Carolina like other states has their own state laws covering this subject area.

North Carolina Forgery and Counterfeiting Laws at a Glance

The chart below provides a summary of statutes related to North Carolina's forgery laws, including links to important code sections.

Statutes

  • North Carolina General Statutes 14-119 (Forgery of notes, checks, and other securities
  • North Carolina General Statutes 14-120 (Uttering forged paper or instrument containing a forged endorsement)
  • North Carolina General Statutes 14-121 (Selling of forged securities)
  • North Carolina General Statutes 14-122 (Forgery of deeds, wills and other instruments
  • North Carolina General Statutes 14-13 (Counterfeiting coin and uttering coin that is counterfeit)

Penalties and Sentencing

 

Class G felony (punishable by a prison term ranging from 10-25 months, a fine, or both.)

  • Forgery of notes/checks/other securities; counterfeiting instruments

Class H felony (punishable by incarceration ranging from 5-20 months, a fine, or both.)

  • Selling forged securities
  • Forgery of deeds, wills, and other instruments

Class I felony (punishable by incarceration ranging from 4-10 months, a fine, or both.)

  • Uttering forged paper or instrument containing a forged endorsement
  • Counterfeiting coin and uttering coin that is counterfeit

Possible Defenses

  • Mistake of fact
  • Lack of intent
  • Consent

Related Offenses

  • Forgery of bank notes and other instruments by connecting genuine parts: North Carolina General Statutes 14-125
  • Forging certificate of corporate stock and uttering forged certificates: North Carolina General Statutes 14- 124
  • Identity theft: North Carolina General Statutes 14-113.20

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.

North Carolina Forgery Laws: Related Resources

Get a Handle on Your Forgery Case by Contacting a Defense Attorney

If you've been accused of violating North Carolina's forgery and counterfeiting laws, then you're dealing with the possibility of prison time and a felony on your record. With so much on the line, you might want to have a defense attorney on your side who can mount a strong defense on your behalf. Use Findlaw's directory to find one in your area.

Next Steps: Search for a Local Attorney

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