Alabama law punishes those convicted of forgery and other related fraudulent offenses like possession of a forged instrument. Our Birmingham forgery attorneys can represent those charged with any degree of forgery or possession of a forged instrument anywhere in the State of Alabama. Forgery charges in Alabama often reach beyond the typical scenario where a person fraudulently signs someone else’s name to a check. Forgery also applies to those who create certain counterfeit instruments and try to pass them off as the original. There are three different degrees of forgery crimes in Alabama depending on what type of instrument has allegedly been forged.
- Forgery in the first degree is covered by 13A-9-2 and is treated as a Class B felony with punishment up to 20 years and usually involves the creation of a fake government document or corporate stock or bond.
- Forgery in the second degree is covered by 13A-9-3 and is treated as a Class C felony with punishment up to 10 years. Forgery II is the most common forgery charge and usually involves a forged check, deed or last will and testament.
- Forgery in the third degree is covered by 13A-9-4 and is treated as a misdemeanor. Forgery III covers “written instruments” not covered by Forgery I or Forgery II.
Possession of a Forged Instrument Attorneys
So what if the police find you in possession of a forged instrument, but cannot prove that you actually forged it? They often will charge you with Possession of a Forged Instrument. This charge is often abbreviated on court paperwork as PFI. Like Forgery, there are three different degrees of possession of a forged instrument in Alabama, and the degree depends on the type of instrument in your possession. PFI I involves the same type of instruments as Forgery I, just as PFI II involves the same type of instruments as Forgery II, etc. Also, the punishment on possession of a forged instrument is the same as its forgery counterpart. To convict you of the possession of a forged instrument, the State must prove that you were in possession of the forged instrument with knowledge that it was forged. Our possession of a forged instrument defense attorneys often focus on this knowledge requirement to show that the defendant had no reason to know the instrument was a fake or a forgery. In some case, the instrument may not be a forgery at all, in which case we attempt to prove the instrument’s authenticity. If you have been accused of forgery or possession of a forged instrument in Birmingham or anywhere else in Alabama, call the Birmingham forgery lawyers at Boles Holmes White LLC at 205-502-2000 to defend your rights today.