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Simplified Law: Forgery Charges in the Denver Area

Posted by Kyle B. Sawyer | Sep 05, 2014 | 0 Comments

Are you facing Forgery charges? Forgery is a complex crime involving fraud in Adams, Jefferson, and Denver County. Most people think they know what it means, but when it comes right down to it, have a hard time coming up with a definition. We are here to help. In this week's edition of Simplified Law, we'll break it down so the crime of Forgery is easy to understand.

The Lawyer's Definition of Forgery

The legal jargon:

“Aperson commits forgery, if, with intent to defraud, such person falsely makes, completes, alters, or utters a written instrument which is or purports to be, or which is calculated to become or to represent if completed:
  • Part of an issue of money, stamps, securities, or other valuable instruments issued by a government or government agency; or
  • Part of an issue of stock, bonds, or other instruments representing interests in or claims against a corporate or other organization or its property.

The statute doesn't stop at the letter “b” in the definition. It goes through “h.” In other words, Forgery is an extremely confusing and complex offense in Arapahoe, El Paso, and Douglas County. Here is our simple explanation.

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The Simplified Definition of Forgery

The simple version:

“Aperson commits forgery if they make, copy, or use a fraudulent or counterfeit document with the intent to deceive people.”

Examples of Forgery Charges in Denver

Forging a Check

Josh was having a tough time. He had gone to college like he was supposed to, and graduated at the top of his class. He was thrilled to find a job right after school, and worked hard – excited to prepare for his future. Unfortunately, the economy tanked and Josh was laid off. He has spent 6 months searching for a job, but simply can't land an interview. One day, he's helping his grandfather move to a retirement home in Douglas County, when he opens a drawer in a forgotten dresser, and finds a checkbook. Josh is desperate to pay his bills, so he takes a check, forges his grandfather's signature, and tries to cash it. Unfortunately, Josh is caught and charged with Forgery.

Falsifying Forms

Eric is a Denver police officer. He takes his job seriously, and feels as if he's really making a difference in the world. One day, he is arrested at the department and finds he is facing Forgery charges. Eric is shocked – he's a police officer, and he has no idea why he's been charged. During questioning, Eric realizes he has made a mistake. The investigator has found that Eric has been paid for work he never did. Apparently, Eric had reported that he worked certain hours, but it didn't match up to his GPS device in his car, which show he was at home instead of working. Because the government pay sheet payroll forms have technically been falsified, Eric has been charged with Forgery.

Sentence for Forgery Charges

There are two different forms of forgery – Forgery – C.R.S. 18-5-102, and Second Degree Forgery – C.R.S. 18-5-104. The difference between these two fraud offenses lies in the type of document which was forged. If the document was considered to be official (i.e. stocks, bonds, deeds, checks, etc.), it is the more serious form of Forgery. If the forged document is not an official document, it is Second Degree Forgery.

Sentence for Forgery:

Forgery is a class 5 Felony, which results in up to 3 years in the Colorado Department of Corrections, and up to a $100,000 fine.

Sentence for Second Degree Forgery:

Second Degree Forgery is a class 1 Misdemeanor, resulting in up to 18 months in the Arapahoe County Jail, and up to a $5,000 fine.

Facing Forgery Charges? Why You Need a Lawyer

If you have been charged with Forgery, it is wise to contact a top criminal defense attorney in your area. Forgery charges are complex, and it takes a skilled, experienced eye to spot when a District Attorney is over-charging you with this A skilled attorney can make sure you aren't being overcharged for the offense.offense. Related charges include Criminal Impersonation – C.R.S. 18-5-113; Criminal Possession of Forgery Devices – C.R.S. 18-5-109; and Criminal Possession of a Forged Instrument – C.R.S. 18-5-105. Don't go into court alone – hire the best lawyer for you case, who will fight to get your case dismissed, or get an acquittal. Don't let a Forgery conviction ruin your chances at getting a good job, or finding a place to live. Protect your future and fight the charges against you.

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If you or a loved one his facing Forgery charges in Aurora, Littleton, or Colorado Springs, be smart, exercise your right to remain silent, and contact an experienced criminal defense attorney at the O'Malley Law Office for a free consultation at 303-830-0880. Together, we will protect your future.Request a Free Consultation

Images courtesy of Gualberto107  and Arvind Balaraman at

About the Author

Kyle B. Sawyer

I have a passion for defending others in criminal cases. I am able to empathize with my clients and understand their emotions and fears. I have a unique perspective on the criminal justice system and I understand what it feels like to be wrongly accused of a crime.


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If you or a loved one is facing criminal charges in the Denver area, be smart, exercise your right to remain silent, and contact the top criminal defense lawyers at Sawyer Legal Group, LLC at 303-830-0880. Together, we can protect your future. Request a Free Consultation