Forgery in Texas | Dallas Forgery Defense

Forgery in Texas

Forgery is a criminal act that carries severe penalties in Texas. It’s a crime that involves deception, and it’s taken very seriously by the legal system. This article aims to provide a comprehensive understanding of forgery in Texas, its implications, and how the law firm of Varghese Summersett can help if you find yourself facing such charges.

Definition of Forgery in Texas

In Texas, forgery is defined as the act of altering, making, completing, executing, or authenticating any writing in such a way that it purports to be the act of another who did not authorize that act. The term “writing” in this context is broad and includes not only documents but also coins, badges, credit cards, seals, and other items.

In other words, a forgery offense in Texas involves altering information to intentionally defraud or harm another, including fraudulently making, completing, altering, or authenticating any writing.

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Forgery Laws in Texas

Forgery is defined under Texas Penal Code 32.21 and covers various fraud offenses.

According to the law, forgery under this section means to alter, make, complete, execute, or authenticate any writing so that it purports to be:

  • The act of someone who did not authorize the act
  • Executed at a time, place, or in a numbered sequence other than what was, in fact, the case; or
  • A copy of an original when none existed

Important Note: Law Change in Texas

As of September 1, 2023, the law in Texas for forgery prosecutions will be based on the amount of forged writings in the possession of the accused, not the amount that the accused tried to use. This is a presumption that a defendant may overcome, but one that starts off against the defendant.

Examples of Forgery in Texas

Examples of forgery include:

  • Signing someone else’s name on a check.
  • Altering a will without authorization.
  • Fabricating a vaccination card.

Signing a check can be forgery

What is the punishment for forgery in Dallas?

Forgery offenses can either be a misdemeanor or felony charge, depending on the circumstances of the case, including the type of document involved and the value of the service or property involved.

The penalties for forgery in Texas vary based on the severity of the crime. They can range from a class C misdemeanor to a first-degree felony. The specific penalty is often determined by the nature of the forged item and the intent behind the forgery.

Most forgery cases carry felony penalties in Texas, such as forgery of financial and government, and legal documents.

If you’re charged in North Texas, you can contact our Dallas forgery attorney at Varghese Summersett to review your legal options.

Forgery classifications and possible penalties for conviction:

Class C misdemeanor

It’s a Class C misdemeanor if the forged writing is worth property or services less than $100.

Class C misdemeanor convictions are fine-only offenses with a maximum fine of $500.

Class B misdemeanor

It’s a Class B misdemeanor if the forged writing is worth property or services $100-750.

Class B misdemeanor forgery convictions carry up to 180 days in jail and a $2,000 fine.

Class A misdemeanor

It’s a Class A misdemeanor if the forged writing is worth property or services between $750 to $2,500.

Class A misdemeanor convictions are punishable by up to a year in jail and a $4,000 fine.

Class A misdemeanor forgery offenses include any involving an instrument not listed under state jail felonies or third-degree felonies.

State jail felony

It’s a state jail felony if the forged writing is worth property or services from $2,500 and $30,000.

State jail felonies are punishable by 180 days to two years of incarceration and a $10,000 fine.

Examples of state jail felony-level forgery:

  • Will or codicil
  • Deed or deed of trust
  • Mortgage
  • Security instrument
  • Security agreement
  • Credit card
  • Check
  • Debit form
  • Money order, contract, or release of the commercial instrument

Third-degree felony

Forgery in Texas is a third-degree felony if the forged writing is worth property or services from $30,000 to $150,000.

Third-degree felony convictions are punishable by two to 10 years in prison and a $10,000 fine.

Examples of third-degree felony-level forgery:

  • Forging government record
  • Currency
  • Issues of securities
  • Postage or revenue stamp
  • Government stock or bond

Second-degree felony

Forgery in Texas is a second-degree felony if the forged writing is worth property or services between $150,000 and $300,000.

Second-degree felony convictions are punishable by two to 20 years in prison and a $10,000 fine.

First-degree felony

Forgery in Texas is a first-degree felony if the forged writing is worth $300,000 or more for property or services.

First-degree felony convictions are punishable by a minimum of five years in prison, up to 99 years, and a $10,000 fine.

Your life and freedom are at stake if charged with a felony.

Promptly seek legal counsel from a Dallas forgery attorney with Varghese Summersett to protect your future.

dallas forgery attorney

What are the most common types of forgery in Texas?

The victim of forgery in Texas can be a person, an institution, or a business.

Common examples of forgery in Texas:

  • Altering a document using someone else’s name to pass it off as an original
  • Signing checks with another person’s name
  • Creating a fake legal document, such as a real estate deed
  • Altering the dollar amount on a check without permission
  • Using a forged document to access someone else’s money or transfer property

There are defenses against forgery charges, including mistaken identity.

Consult with a Dallas forgery attorney before talking with law enforcement.

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Texas forgery charges based on the theft value ladder

Forgery in Texas can also be charged based on the property or service value using the standard theft value ladder in the Texas Penal Code.

What enhances forgery charges in Texas?

Forgery charges in Texas can be enhanced by one level if the victim of the forgery is elderly (anyone age 65 or older).

What is the forgery statute of limitations in Texas?

The statute of limitations for forgery charges is 10 years in Texas.

When does forgery include a presumption of intent to defraud or harm in Texas?

There is a presumption of intent to defraud or harm if two or more similar writings of a government record are involved.

Need a Dallas Forgery Attorney? Call Varghese Summersett.

If you or a family member is facing a forgery charge, you need an experienced Dallas forgery attorney fighting for you.

The team at Varghese Summersett includes Board Certified criminal defense attorneys and former prosecutors with a combined four decades of handling forgery cases.

For a complimentary strategy session, call us at 214-903-4000.

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