Think Before You Ink - Forgery Could Cost Youby Gamino Law Offices on 03/28/14
Forgery is bad news – and if you’ve been accused of it, whether you wilfully broke the law or you accidentally wrote a few bad checks, you need to talk to a Milwaukee criminal defense attorney. Because Wisconsin laws on forgery can be confusing, it’s always a good idea to get input from someone who understands how the entire system works.
Wisconsin Laws on Forgery
There are several different laws about forgery in Wisconsin, and they apply all over the state. Forging a check is a different charge than obtaining a signature by fraud, which is also different from uttering a forgery.
So what do Wisconsin’s laws on forgery mean for your case?
Forging a Check in Milwaukee, Waukesha or Elsewhere in Wisconsin
It’s important to know that writing a worthless check – one that you know won’t be honored by your bank – is not the same thing as forgery. However, it can carry a punishment of imprisonment and fines, so if you’ve been accused of or charged with “worthless checks,” you’ll also need an attorney who’s willing to fight hard on your behalf.
Forging a check is completely different; that’s when you make or alter a check with the intent to trick someone. You may have signed someone else’s name on their own checks, or you may have simply used a check that you knew was forged. Either way, you could be in serious legal trouble. Issuing a worthless check may be considered a Class A misdemeanor in Wisconsin, which means jail time and large fines can result, but forgery is a felony with even more serious penalties, including possible prison time.
Obtaining a Signature by Fraud
When you trick someone into giving you their signature, or when you take their signature from a credit card authorization or other means, you may be charged with obtaining a signature by fraud. Most of these cases are considered serious crimes – often, they result in big fines and up to six years in jail.
Uttering a Forgery in Wisconsin
Uttering a forgery in Wisconsin can be a confusing term, particularly if you’re not a frequent flyer in the court system. All it means is that you’ve presented a forged document for payment or that you’ve transferred it into someone else’s possession. While the definition is simple, the consequences are dire: you could do 84 months in jail and pay up to $10,000 in fines.
Getting Help after Being Charged with Forgery in Wisconsin
If you’ve been charged with forgery or uttering a forgery in SE Wisconsin, attorney Carlos A. Gamino can help. Just call (414)383-6700 in Milwaukee or (262)650-6700 in Waukesha. You deserve a lawyer who knows how to protect your rights, so working with someone who has several years of experience is a must.