In Texas, forgery, or making a writing with the purpose of deceiving or harming another person, is a type of fraud. There is an assumption that an individual who has been charged for forging more than one writing had the specific intent to defraud, which is an essential element of the crime.
For the purposes of forgery, a writing can include trademarks, seals, tokens, credit cards, paper and coin money, badges and stamps. It can also include any type of recorded or printed information, such as a signature, and any symbols that depict rights, value, identification or privileges.
Under Texas law, the crime of forgery is a Class A misdemeanor and has a possible sentence of no more than one year in county jail or a fine not to exceed $4,000. Incarceration and the assessment of a fine may also be levied in conjunction with one another. The charges of forgery can be enhanced in certain circumstances. Individuals may be charged with a third degree felony if they allegedly forged a federal writing. If an act of forgery was committed against an elderly person, any punishment that is issued could be increased by one degree.
An individual who has been charged with committing forgery may use a number of defenses in an effort to combat the allegations. One common one is the assertion there was a lack of intent to defraud or harm another person or entity.
A criminal defense attorney may advocate on behalf of a client who has been charged with this type of state crime. The attorney may work to ensure that the defendant understands the possible ramifications of taking a plea bargain and pleading guilty to a lesser offense as opposed to entering a not guilty plea and mounting a defense at trial.