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How to Fight Forgery Charges in Illinois

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Will County forgery defense attorney

The state of Illinois classifies forgery as a “deceptive offense.” This means that the act involves defrauding a person or business with the intent to receive personal gain or cause financial loss to the victim. Forgery is punishable in Illinois as a felony offense, and those who are caught can face serious consequences from fines to jail time. It is important to understand what actions constitute this white-collar crime and the consequences for someone accused of it. 

What Is Forgery?

Any act that defrauds (illegally obtaining money from a person or business) a specific victim is classified as forgery. This includes any of the following:

  • Creating or altering documents that make defrauding someone possible

  • Delivering documents that can defraud someone

  • Possession with intent to deliver fraudulent documents

  • Unlawfully using someone else’s signature

  • Unlawfully using someone else’s device PIN number to create an electronic signature

Someone can also be charged with forgery if he or she creates a false academic degree without the words “for novelty purposes” displayed somewhere on the document. If the words are not included, the offender will be charged with a Class A misdemeanor.

Forgery is almost always considered a Class 3 felony punishable by two to three years in prison, periodic imprisonment of up to 18 months, fines of up to $25,000 per offense, and restitution payments. Charges are decreased to a Class 4 felony status if only one Universal Price Code Label is used in the offense. Punishments include a one- to three-year prison term, periodic imprisonment of up to 18 months, fines of up to $25,000, and restitution payments.

Defensive Strategies for Forgery Charges

In order for the prosecution to successfully convict someone of forgery, they must prove intent to defraud beyond a reasonable doubt. With the help of a knowledgeable attorney, a defendant can fight back with several strategies, such as:

  • No intent to defraud

  • Mistake of fact

  • Duress or compulsion: The offender was coerced into doing something he or she would not have done on his or her own

  • Infancy (for offenders who are under 13 years of age)

  • Insanity

Contact a Joliet, IL Criminal Defense Attorney

In most cases, forgery is considered a felony under Illinois law. Penalties can range from jail time to steep fines, depending on the circumstances. If you or someone you know has been accused of this crime, you need skilled legal counsel. A lawyer from Tedone & Morton, P.C. can thoroughly examine your case and advocate on your behalf to protect you from a negative outcome. To schedule a free consultation with a Will County forgery defense lawyer, call our office today at 815-666-1285.




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