The creation and the use of a fake document that has some kind of monetary value are separate felony offenses in Florida. Forgery is the creation of fraudulent documents, and the use of counterfeit documents is uttering forged instruments.
Alleged forgery offenses typically involve some intent to injure or defraud another party. Convictions for these types of crimes not only can result in possible fines and imprisonment, but the effect of having a “crime of dishonesty” on a person’s criminal record can lead to significant troubles when it comes to obtaining employment or housing.Forgery Defense Lawyer in Broward County, Florida
Were you arrested or do you believe that you might be under investigation for an alleged forgery-related offense in South Florida? Do not make any kind of statement to authorities until you have contacted The Hoffman Firm.
Fort Lauderdale criminal defense attorney Evan A. Hoffman represents clients accused of white collar crimes all over Broward County, including Davie, Plantation, Deerfield Beach, Pembroke Pines, Sunrise, and several other nearby areas. He can review your case and help you understand all of your legal options as soon as you call (954) 524-4474 to schedule a free, confidential consultation.
Overview of Forgery in Fort Lauderdale
- How is forgery different from uttering forged instruments?
- What are some other forgery-related offenses in Florida?
- Where can I find more information about forgery crimes in Broward County?
Forgery Definitions in Florida
Under Florida Statute § 831.01, an alleged offender commits forgery is he or she “falsely makes, alters, forges or counterfeits a public record, or a certificate, return or attestation of any clerk or register of a court, public register, notary public, town clerk or any public officer, in relation to a matter wherein such certificate, return or attestation may be received as a legal proof; or a charter, deed, will, testament, bond, or writing obligatory, letter of attorney, policy of insurance, bill of lading, bill of exchange or promissory note, or an order, acquittance, or discharge for money or other property, or an acceptance of a bill of exchange or promissory note for the payment of money, or any receipt for money, goods or other property, or any passage ticket, pass or other evidence of transportation issued by a common carrier, with intent to injure or defraud any person.”
Florida Statute § 831.02 defines uttering forged instruments as uttering and publishing as true a false, forged or altered record, deed, instrument or other writing mentioned in the forgery statute knowing the same to be false, altered, forged or counterfeited, with intent to injure or defraud any person. Both forgery and uttering forged instruments are third-degree felony offenses punishable by a maximum sentence of five years in prison and/or a maximum fine of $5,000.
Some of the most commonly forged documents in Florida include, but are not limited to:
- Personal checks;
- Commercial checks;
- Travelers checks;
- State of Florida checks;
- U.S. Treasury checks;
- Tickets or passes;
- Money orders;
- Stock certificates;
- Corporate documents;
- Bills of exchange;
- Promissory notes;
- Titles to property;
- Letters of attorney;
- Insurance policies;
- Credit card invoices; and
- Court seals.
Related Forgery Crimes in Broward County
People may also be prosecuted for any one of several related offenses under Chapter 831 of the Florida Statutes relating to forgery and counterfeiting. Other crimes listed in this chapter include, but are not limited to:
- Offenses involving forging or counterfeiting private labels, Florida Statute § 831.032 — Third-degree felony, second-degree felony, and first-degree felony offenses;
- Penalty for changing or forging certain instruments of writing, Florida Statute § 831.04 — Third-degree felony;
- Forging bank bills, checks, drafts, or promissory notes, Florida Statute § 831.07 — Third-degree felony;
- Possessing certain forged notes, bills, checks, or drafts, Florida Statute § 831.08 — Third-degree felony;
- Uttering forged bills, checks, drafts, or notes, Florida Statute § 831.09 — Third-degree felony;
- Bringing into the state forged bank bills, checks, drafts, or notes, Florida Statute § 831.11 — Third-degree felony;
- Making or possessing instruments for forging bills, Florida Statute § 831.18 — Third-degree felony;
- Forging or counterfeiting doctor's certificate of examination, Florida Statute § 831.21 — Third-degree felony;
- Counterfeiting a payment instrument; possessing a counterfeit payment instrument, Florida Statute § 831.28 — Third-degree felony; and
- Making or having instruments and material for counterfeiting driver licenses or identification cards, Florida Statute § 831.29 — Second-degree felony.
Florida Forgery Arrest Resources
Forgery and Counterfeiting | Broward Sheriff's Office — Visit the Sheriff's Office for information about what to do in cases involving check forgery or counterfeit checks in Broward County. You can find links to information about the Economic Crimes Unit and Contractor Licensing and Fraud Unit of the Sheriff's Office. The website also has links to information about telemarketing fraud, business opportunity fraud, and commonly used scams.
Broward Sheriff's Office
2601 W. Broward Blvd.
Ft. Lauderdale, FL 33312
Florida Statutes | Chapter 831 — You can visit this website to view the full text for the 36 statutes relating to forgery and counterfeiting. The statutes cover the definitions and penalties for each of the offenses.
If you think that you could be under investigation or you were already arrested in South Florida for any kind of forgery-related crime, it is in your best interest to have legal representation before you say anything to authorities. The Hoffman Firm fights to protect the rights of clients in Coral Springs, Pompano Beach, Hollywood, Cooper City, Miramar, and many surrounding communities in Broward County.
Evan A. Hoffman is a criminal defense attorney in Fort Lauderdale who is a former Assistant State Attorney for the Broward County State Attorney’s Office. You can have him use his knowledge and experience to evaluate your legal options during a complete review of your case when you call (954) 524-4474 or fill out an online contact form to take advantage of a free initial consultation.