What constitutes forgery in Texas?

In order for many things to be legally done in Texas, the people who are a part of the transaction must sign the document or writing. This could be for bank transactions, credit cards, checks, mortgages, wills, titles to property, contracts and for many other reasons. When people receive documents with a person's signature on it, generally it is presumed that the person in fact agreed to the terms of the document.

However, this is not always the situation, and sometimes the person who signed the document is not the actual party to the transaction. When this occurs, it is known as forgery, which is a type of fraud. People commit forgery when they make or alter a writing purporting it to be an act of a person who did not in fact authorize it, purporting to be executed at a time, place or in a sequence that was not true or purporting to be a copy of an original when there no original.

Forgery is illegal if the intent was to harm or defraud another. The punishment for the crime depends on the type of document that was forged. It is a state jail felony if the forgery is on a number of writings including, but not limited to, wills, deeds, mortgages, credit cards, check, bank transactions and others. It is a third degree felony for government documents and a Class A misdemeanor for other acts of forgery not in the other categories.

The penalties are worse for the felonies, but even having a class A misdemeanor for forgery can have a very negative effect on one's future. Many employers and colleges do not like to hire or accept candidates who have committed acts like this which involve deceit and fraud. However, people who are simply charged with a crime are still innocent though and there may be defenses available to them which can minimize the damage these crimes have on one's future.

Many people are charged with forgery in Texas. It is important for these people to understand their rights and the potential defenses available to them. Experienced Texas attorneys understand the importance of a strong defense in these cases and may be able to guide one through it.

Source: Texas State Legislature, "Penal Code Title 7, Chapter 32. Fraud" accessed on July 12, 2017

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