Penalties for Forgery in Texas

It can be very easy for someone to sign another person’s signature on a check, an insurance document, a loan application, a credit card application, or other such document. However, when people forge someone else’s signature, they are in fact committing a fraud crime under Section 32.21 of the Texas Penal Code. Under Sec. 32.21, a person commits “forgery” when he or she makes, completes, alters, executes or authenticates any writing so that it purports to be an act of another person who did not authorize the act. It’s also forgery when someone purports that something was executed at a time or place when it was not, or when someone passes off a fake document as if it’s a copy of an original when the original never existed. Forgery doesn’t have to be just a document, it can also include:

  • Money
  • Coins
  • Stamps
  • Tokens
  • Badges
  • Trademarks
  • Identification
  • Credit cards
  • Symbols of value

Under Sec. 32.21, you commit the offense of forgery if you knowingly forge a writing with the intention of defrauding or harming another. Forgery is generally a Class A misdemeanor but under certain circumstances it can be prosecuted as a felony. As a Class A misdemeanor, forgery is punishable by a maximum fine of $4,000, or confinement in jail for up to one year, or both a fine and confinement.

You Didn’t Mean to Commit a Crime

Forgery can be a tricky charge because often people commit this crime with “good intentions.” For example, a loan officer can’t reach a client who missed a signature so she signs on the client’s behalf. Or, an employee decides to sign their boss’s name on a check. Even if people have good intentions, it doesn’t change the fact that they’re breaking the law. Other times, people commit forgery when they intend to defraud another person or company, and when they get caught they can be in a lot of trouble. Regardless of the circumstances, if you’re facing forgery charges in Plano or Dallas, we urge you to contact our firm for legal advice. Let our top-rated legal team defend you!

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