Forgery is similar to theft, both of which have serious consequences in Memphis, Tennessee. But what is forgery, and what are its penalties?

Imagine that your family is struggling from paycheck to paycheck. Your spouse got in an accident, and now they cannot work. Due to the accident, you have monumental medical bills to pay, and now you have lost half or more of your combined income. As the single provider of the family, you are struggling to pay bills and even put food on the table. You feel lost and helpless–what choice do you have? You know it is wrong, but you start writing bad checks, just enough to pay rent for the next month. Seemingly, the checks go through, but the bank later flags them for being suspicious.

Before you know it, you are being charged for forgery. You know you are guilty, but you are more concerned about what will happen to your family. What are your legal options? What should you do next? If you or someone you know is facing criminal charges in Memphis, Tennessee, contact a forgery lawyer from Pickford Law Firm. Our team understands that good people make mistakes and they deserve second chances.

Contact us today to schedule your free consultation.

Consequences of Forgery in Memphis, Tennessee

Forgery is falsely and willfully producing a document or signature that is not yours. This usually involves money, though one can also forge items like art. Some common examples of forgery include checks, mortgage documentation, deeds, or other financial documents. Forgery is a severe crime in Memphis; therefore, it has serious penalties. Similar to theft charges, the consequences of forgery are based on the amount you forged. In other words, the larger the value of the item you forge, the harsher your penalties will be.

Here are the consequences for forgery under Tennessee law:

  • If you forge $500 or less: Class A misdemeanor punishable by up to 11 months in jail and/or a fine of up to $2,500
  • If you forge over $500 but less than $1,000: Class E felony punishable by 1 to 6 years in prison and a fine of up to $3,000
  • If you forge over $1,000 but less than $10,000: Class D felony punishable by up to 2 to 12 years in prison and a fine of up to $5,000
  • If you forge over $10,000 but less than $60,000: Class C felony punishable by up to 3 to 15 years in prison and a fine of up to $10,000
  • If you forge over $60,000 but less than $250,000: Class B felony punishable by up to 8 to 30 years in prison and a fine of up to $25,000
  • If you forge over $250,000: Class A felony punishable by up to 15 to 60 years in prison and a fine of up to $50,000

Tennessee Code 39-14-114. Forgery

Tennessee Code 39-14-114. Forgery:

(a) A person commits an offense who forges a writing with intent to defraud or harm another.

(b) As used in this part, unless the context otherwise requires:

(1) “Forge” means to:

(A) Alter, make, complete, execute or authenticate any writing so that it purports to:

(i) Be the act of another who did not authorize that act;

(ii) Have been executed at a time or place or in a numbered sequence other than was in fact the case;  or

(iii) Be a copy of an original when no such original existed;

(B) Make false entries in books or records;

(C) Issue, transfer, register the transfer of, pass, publish, or otherwise utter a writing that is forged within the meaning of subdivision (b)(1)(A);  or

(D) Possess a writing that is forged within the meaning of subdivision (b)(1)(A) with intent to utter it in a manner specified in subdivision (b)(1)(C);  and

(2) “Writing” includes printing or any other method of recording information, money, coins, tokens, stamps, seals, credit cards, badges, trademarks, and symbols of value, right, privilege or identification.

(c) An offense under this section is punishable as theft pursuant to § 39-14-105, but in no event shall forgery be less than a Class E felony.

Contact Pickford Law Firm Today

Forgery is considered a severe crime in Memphis, TN, with penalties including hefty fines and even jail time. So if you or someone you know is facing forgery charges, it is essential to contact a criminal defense lawyer specializing in white-collar crimes to build a strong defense. The forgery lawyers at Pickford Law Firm have your best interest in mind. We will fight to protect your rights and reduce your charges. Have you been charged with forgery or a theft crime in Tennessee? Call us today to schedule your free consultation.

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