What Is the Law on Forgery in Colorado and What Are the Punishments for It?
Forgery is a kind of crime involving deception and fraud. It happens when one or more people recreate, change or alter in any way, make copies or are in the utterance of an item of value, where the alleged owner is either not aware of, or has not given permission to use the forged item or document.
The forgers must also have the intention of using the forged document in a manner not similar to personal use. An example of this would be when a person recreates a painting for themselves, which is not a forgery. But when someone recreates a painting with the intent to sell it as an authentic painting when it is a fake, then that is a forgery.
What Is Considered as Forgery in the State of Colorado?
In Colorado, both the recreation of and the possession of equipment used in forgery and counterfeiting are considered a crime. Forgery related to certain items of value is treated as more severe. These include:
- Any kind of government security or money stamp
- Lottery tickets
- Possession of legal documents, such as deeds, wills, etc.
- Any kind of formal identification document
- Stocks and bonds
- Items of value that are used in lieu of money, such as tickets or tokens
Any kind of forgery involving either financial documents or legal documents is treated in a harsher manner, including cases where possession of involved.
A person cannot be convicted of forging anything against themselves in the State of Colorado. What this means is that someone issuing a check against themselves, for example, is not guilty of forgery against themselves.
It is also illegal to create, alter, or be in possession of forged academic records from either high school or college when the intent behind the forgery was to use it to secure admission into an academic institute, obtain scholarships, or seek employment.
What Are the Punishments for Forgery in Colorado?
The State of Colorado provides different punishments based on the kind of forgery crime that was committed. The punishments for the various crimes include the following:
- It is considered a Class 6 Felony when the forgery involves of either forged financial or legal, or of public records, or the possession of items used in counterfeiting and forgery, with items that indicate intent to forge. The punishment for this crime is either time to be spent in jail that is not less than one month and not more than 18 months, or fines between $1000-$100,000, or both.
- Where either second-degree forgery or forgery involving academic records is concerned, it is considered a Class 1 Misdemeanor. The punishment for this crime is either time to be spent in jail that is between 6-18 months, or a fine between $500-$5000, or both.
- Where other for crimes of forgery are involved, it is considered a Class 2 Misdemeanor. The punishment for this crime is either time to be served in jail for a period between 3-12 months or a fine that falls between $250-$1000, or both.
- However, more severe crimes not on this list may be considered a Class 6 Felony. The punishment for this is either me to be spent in jail that is between 1-3 years, or the payment of fines that is between $250-$1000, or both.
For a crime to be considered forgery, it must be proved that there was intent to commit forgery and use items of value illegally. If a person is found with an item that can be used in forgery, such as paper used in banknotes, alongside an item that can be used in forgery, such as a counterfeiting device used to print banknotes, then such a situation will also be considered as forgery.