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When Can I Be Charged with Forgery in Illinois?

 Posted on July 13, 2022 in Criminal Law

Orland Park Forgery Defense AttorneyWhile forging a signature may be the most common and well-known form of forgery, the crime actually includes a wide variety of actions meant to defraud a person, business, or organization. In our digital world, new forms of forgery are increasingly possible, but the standard definition still provides a wide umbrella under which forgery can be charged. Under Illinois law, the crime of forgery is when an individual intends to defraud another person or institution, and then knowingly commits the prohibited act. This is further defined as making or altering a false document, presenting or possessing a false document, or unlawfully creating or using a digital signature, including a PIN.

Common Types of Forgery

While methods may change from year to year, deceiving another party for financial gain remains against the law. Here are some of the most common types of forgery:

  • Counterfeiting – This is the most common type of forgery, including forging someone else’s signature. This can include on a check, a driver’s license, or other official documents.

  • Prescription forgery – Forging a doctor’s signature or preparing a fraudulent prescription sheet, either to obtain prescription drugs for personal use or to sell, has grown more common as painkiller use has risen.

  • Credit card applications - Completing a credit card application using someone else’s information and other types of related scams have also become increasingly popular.

  • Mortgage information - Faking mortgage documentation, either by lying about your personal information or manipulating the data in the documents that are required for the application is illegal and can be charged as forgery.

  • Art forgery - Less common but potentially more profitable is art forgery. It is illegal to create or knowingly attempt to sell a fake work of art.

With most types of forgery, you will be charged with a Class 3 felony. This can carry a penalty of two to five years in jail, though probation is possible. Lesser charges Class 4 felony charges apply when the forgery involves the forging of one Universal Price Code (UPC) label. Forging an academic degree or a coin is a Class A misdemeanor. Legal defenses against forgery can include the lack of intent to deceive or defraud, mistaken facts in the case, or the act was done under duress or compulsion.

Contact a Cook County Forgery Defense Attorney

If you have been charged with forgery in Illinois, you are likely facing a serious felony. At Issa Law, LLC, our Orland Park criminal defense lawyer has experience with forgery cases and can work to provide you with a strong legal defense. Call our office today at 708-966-2408 to schedule a free consultation. 



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