Analyzing 3 Different Versions Of Forgery Under Virginia Law
Forgery is a Virginia crime that typically requires the creation or alteration of a legal document or instrument with intent to commit fraud. This offense can involve many types of instruments or documents, such as public records, coins, money, or bank notes. When forgery involves a record, it is commonly referred to as a false document. Whereas, forged coins or money are commonly referred to as counterfeit.
Keeping the background information above in mind, the following sections will analyze three different versions of forgery crimes under Virginia law.
- Forgery of Public Records
Under Code of Virginia Section 18.2-168, it is unlawful to:
- Forge any public record, certificate, return, or attestation of a public officer/employee;
- Utter or attempt to employ as true such forged document as legal proof; and
- Know or have a reason to know that the document was forged.
Any person who violates Section 18.2-168 is guilty of a Class 4 felony. The statutory penalties for this class of felony in Virginia include imprisonment for two to 10 years and criminal fines up to $100,000.
- Forgery of Official Seal
Under Code of Virginia Section 18.2-169, it is illegal to forge or keep/conceal any instrument for the purpose of forging the:
- Seal of the Commonwealth of Virginia;
- Seal of any court in Virginia;
- Seal of any public office in Virginia; or
- Seal of any political or corporate entity in Virginia.
Any person who violates Section 18.2-169 is guilty of a Class 4 felony and, if convicted, can face the statutory penalties mentioned above for this type of felony in Virginia.
- Forgery of Coins or Bank Notes
Under Code of Virginia Section 18.2-170, it is unlawful to:
- Forge any coin, note, or bill currently in use in Virginia;
- Forge any note or bill of a banking company;
- Fraudulently make any base coin;
- Fraudulently make any note or bill of a nonexistent banking company;
- Utter, transfer, or receive any forged coin, note, or bill with knowledge that it was forged; or
- Attempt to employ as true, transfer, or receive any forged coin, note, or bill with knowledge that it was forged.
Any person who violates Section 18.2-170 is guilty of a Class 4 felony and, if convicted, can face the statutory penalties mentioned above for this type of felony in Virginia.
Do You Need Legal Help?
If you have legal questions about forgery or other criminal offenses in Virginia, it can be exceedingly helpful to reach out to an experienced Leesburg criminal defense lawyer. With more than 140 years of collective experience, the lawyers at Simms Showers LLP possess broad capabilities in the field of criminal defense, including charges like forgery. If you need legal help with criminal defense, contact us today for a free initial consultation.