Examining 3 Versions Of Forgery Under The Virginia Criminal Code
The Virginia Criminal Code categorizes forgery as a version of fraud. At a baseline level, forgery generally involves a false document or similar device. In certain cases, the mere creation of a false device can qualify as forgery. But the use of a forged document or device — knowing or having a reason to know that it was forged — can lead to criminal charges as well. To understand the breadth of this criminal offense in Virginia, please see the examinations below of three versions of forgery.
- Forgery of Public Records
The laws against forgery of public records appear at Code of Virginia Section 18.2-168. This section makes it unlawful to:
- Create a forged public record or certificate, return, or attestation of any public agent;
- Utter or attempt to employ as valid any public record or certificate, return, or attestation, knowing the document to be forged.
It is a Class 4 felony to forge public records in violation of Section 18.2-168. Upon conviction, the punishment can include a prison sentence between two and 10 years as well as criminal fines up to $100,000.
- Forgery of Coins or Banknotes
The laws against forgery of coins or banknotes appear at Code of Virginia Section 18.2-170. This section makes it illegal to:
- Forge any coin, note, or bill that is current and presently used in Virginia;
- Forge any note or bill of a banking company;
- Fraudulently make any coin, note, or bill of a non-existent banking company; or
- Utter, attempt to employ as valid, or otherwise transfer any coin, note, or bill, knowing that it was forged.
It is a Class 4 felony to forge coins or banknotes in violation of Section 18.2-170. Upon conviction, the punishment will be substantially similar to the one described above.
- Forgery of Writings
The laws against forgery of writings appear at Code of Virginia Section 18.2-172. This section makes it unlawful to:
- Forge any writing that could prejudice the rights of another person;
- Utter or attempt to employ as valid any forged writing, knowing that it was forged; or
- Obtain by false pretense the signature of another person to any writing with the intent to commit fraud.
It is a Class 5 felony to forge any writing in violation of Section 18.2-172. Upon conviction, the punishment can include a prison sentence between one and 10 years as well as criminal fines up to $2,500.
Do You Need Legal Help?
If you have legal questions about Virginia charges for forgery, it can be thoroughly beneficial to contact a qualified Leesburg fraud lawyer. The lawyers at Simms Showers LLP appreciate the nuances of defending against various charges, including forgery. If you need legal help with criminal defense, contact us today for a free initial consultation.