In Texas, crimes of forgery could either be misdemeanors or felonies based on the specific items involve in the crime and the age of the victim. If you are facing a charge of forgery in Texas, it’s crucial that you understand what you might be in for. Below are classifications of forgery crimes and their corresponding penalties:
- Third Degree Felony – Forgery will be considered a third degree felony in the event that the crime involved forged government records, paper money, bonds or stocks, revenue or postage stamps, or items that the federal or stated issued. This is punishable by a fine as much as $10,000 and/or imprisonment of two to 10 years.
- State Jail Felony – A forgery crime will be deemed a state jail felony if the forged document is a deed, will, security agreement or instrument, mortgage, contract, credit card, check, authorization, or release for cash payment or withdraw from a bank account. Potential penalties include a fine not exceeding $10,000 and/or jail time 18 months up to two years.
- Misdemeanor Forgery – A crime of forgery that doesn’t involve the forged items previously mentioned under the state jail and third degree felony charges will be deemed a Class A Misdemeanor. This carries potential penalties that include a fine not more than $4,000 and/or jail time of up to a year.
It’s likewise vital to note that if the victim of the forgery crime is an individual older than 65, the charge would be increased automatically to the succeeding higher classification, such that instead of a misdemeanor, the offender will be charged with a state jail felony, explains a prominent white collar crime defense attorney in Houston. In addition, depending on the specific circumstances surrounding the forgery crime, you could be prosecuted at the federal level as well. That said, an experienced criminal defense attorney could help you build a strong defense for your case, explore your plea options, determine if your case could be discharged, or represent you and uphold your rights during trial.