What is Forgery?

Forgery is a crime that falls under the category of "fraud."

According to RCW §9A.60.020, a person is guilty of forgery if, with intent to injure or defraud:

  1. He falsely makes, completes, or alters a written instrument; or
  2. He possesses, utters, offers, disposes of, or puts off as true a written instrument which he or she knows to be forged.

There are many different types of documents (or "written instruments") that can be forged. A few examples include checks, property titles, corporate documents, etc. Forgery crimes often involve some personal benefit to the offender yielded by the forged document, such as monetary gain.

Penalties for Forgery in Washington:

Forgery is considered a class C felony, which RCW §9A.20.021 defines as punishable by up to five years in prison, a maximum fine of $10,000, or both.

Defending a Forgery Charge:

One of the elements of the crime of forgery is that the defendant actually had intent to injure or defraud another person, or that he offers or puts off as true a written instrument knowing that it is forged. However, it might be possible to show that no such intent existed, no such knowledge existed, or that there is a lack of evidence to prove your guilt. Your defense strategy is crucial, and the help of a skilled criminal defense attorney is strongly advised.