Maryland Forgery Lawyer
In Maryland, there are a variety of charges within fraud offenses. Forgery is a crucial element to fraud cases. Someone facing forgery charges should contact a forgery attorney right away. The longer that the person waits to contact an attorney the more damage could be done because the investigation could be ongoing. The sooner that the person gets an attorney involving something like this the better. If a person is facing forgery charges, it is essential to speak with a Maryland forgery lawyer right away.
An experienced fraud attorney can provide assistance to you during this process. You can begin building a strong defense case and work with a dedicated attorney who can represent you in court and challenge the evidence on your behalf. Forgery charges range from misdemeanors to felonies and it is important to have sound legal representation.
What is Forgery?
The crimes of counterfeiting forgery are listed within the annotated code of Maryland. Those are statutes that were written and passed by the legislature. A lot of terms, like the word forgery, are legal terms that had been defined through case law, which is different than statutes. The definition of forgery remains very similar; there has not been any significant change to the definition of forgery. In general, forgery would either be with the intent to defraud or the false creation or an alteration of a writing. It could be a legal document, a check, or an application for some sort of loan or government assistance. Essentially, it is making a false writing and doing so with the intent to defraud.
Common Examples of Charges
It could be the signing of someone else’s name to a check; it could be the alternation of a check that was already written, but the person makes some sort of significant change to it; it Could be signing somebody else’s name to the title to a piece of property or to an item like a motor vehicle. There are a lot of different ways that if the person were to either sign or make an alternation, it would be forgery. Those are really most common examples seen most of the time in court and it usually involves checks.
Penalties of Forgery
The penalties are wide-ranging. For something on the lowest end of the spectrum, it would be a misdemeanor. That is not greater than three years all the way up to a felony with the maximum penalty of 10 years. It depends on whether they committed the actual forgery. If they counterfeited something, it is considered one type of penalty. Committing the forgery is more serious, but it is also a crime for someone to possess a forged document and know that it is forged. That also is a separate crime, but it is a lesser penalty. Since there is a wide range of fraud penalties for forgery, it can be a complicated case, and the person should consult an experienced Maryland forgery lawyer.
Evidence for Case
Essential evidence would be the documents that were forged. There also has to be proof that the defendant is the one who committed the forgery and that can be very complicated. If it were conducted, for example, in front of the teller or if it were on video at a bank, the question as to who committed the forgery is a lot clearer. But if there is no witness to prove who puts the signature on paper or who manipulated the document, the state would have to take that extra element of proving that it was the defendant that did it.
In cases like that, it is not unusual for there to be some sort of handwriting expert. That is a significant expense for the state to take on. Depending on the significance of the case, they will do that. Generally, it is very much a paper-driven type of case, so the evidence that would be essential would be documented.
Benefits of a Lawyer
There are so many different moving pieces in a case like forgery. There is the necessity of having the evidence reviewed by an attorney. That the attorney should be looking at the evidence and trying to decide whether the state has everything that they need to prove each and every element of the offense. It is important to remember that the defendant is presumed innocent. It is the state’s burden to prove each element of the crime and prove it beyond a reasonable doubt.
It is the attorney’s job is to look at the evidence and do that analysis. Another responsibility of the attorney is to review the evidence that the state does not have and analyze whether or not the state is abiding by the rules of procedure and the rules of evidence in attempting to get that evidence introduced against the defendant.
There is also all of the issues of whether anything implicated the Fourth or Fifth Amendment for the individual. There needs to be an analysis on that, as well. If they ask the defendant to make a statement, they have to determine if they followed all of the rules that they are required to when questioning the suspect.
A lot of different things that are happening at the same time and it is important for you to have a Maryland forgery lawyer who is experienced not just in what the laws are, but a litigator who is used to going into a court and used to doing that sort of analysis about evidence. An experienced criminal lawyer can negotiate on your behalf and ensure you understand your rights during an investigation and hearing.