Forgery Laws Explained By A Criminal Attorney In Madison WI
Wisconsin Forgery Laws As Explained By A Criminal Attorney In Madison WIIn Wisconsin, forgery is defined as creating, altering, using, or possessing a false document with the intention of defrauding someone. It is a serious crime in the state, with penalties ranging from misdemeanors to felonies. What Constitutes Forgery? Forgery can exist under many different circumstances and include many different kinds of documents such as those that symbolize values, rights, or forms of identification. The types of documents that are commonly affected by forgery include: wills, testaments, bank checks, and birth certificates, deeds, credit card applications, business agreements, and even transportation tickets. 3 Elements Must Be Proven To Gain A Forgery Conviction Just because a person has been accused of forgery does not mean they will be automatically convicted of the crime. The prosecution must prove three elements in order to obtain a conviction. These three elements are:
- Making, Altering, Issuing, Using, Or Possessing. It must be proven that the accused either made, altered, issued, used, or possessed a forged document.
- A False Legally Significant Writing. The writing must be proven to be false or untrue in its statement. It must also have legal significance. Having legal significance means that it affects the legal rights, responsibilities, and/or obligations of another.
- With The Intent To Defraud. The prosecutor must prove that the actions were taken for the express purpose of defrauding another. The scheme does not have to actually work in order to be convicted of forgery. There just has to be an intention to use the forged document to secure a certain objective. This is an important distinction that can protect people who unknowingly possess, sign, or use forged documents.