What Is the Law on Forgery in North Carolina and What Are the Punishments for It?
Forgery falls under the category of fraud, as it involves an individual using some false documentation or misrepresentation in order to further their own agenda. It can also include cases of using false writing or signatures on paper in order to pull the wool over another person's eyes. Generally, forgery includes the following:
- Modifying an existing document or creating a false one.
- Misusing substances with an attempt to defraud someone else, in addition to misrepresenting the nature of a document that had been presented to someone else, and knowing that they would depend or rely on the document at hand.
- The document that was changed with intentions to alter the legal meaning of the original papers.
Types of Forgery
Even though there are some basic elements which are associated with forgery, the crime differs regarding the specifications and technicalities of the situation. The North Carolina General Statutes includes a wide range of activities that fall under the crime of forgery, including the following:
- Forging a check or any sort of security document, as well as a financial note.
- Presenting a false document as the work of someone in a position of power or authority.
- Doing signature forgery- presenting any sort of document and passing it off as an endorsement or as being authorized by any person in any post or position of authority.
- Presenting a worthless check as payment for some kind of goods or services, or giving someone a check of an amount more than what is in the person's bank.
- Prescription forgery using a health care professional's prescription pad or some other identifying document in order to procure a controlled substance for oneself.
- Paying one's employees or an independent contractor with a fake pay stub.
- Engaging in the forgery of a title deed, will, trust, or any other such legal document.
- Making, producing and distributing fake money, or presenting it as a payment to another person.
Punishment for Forgery in North Carolina
The punishment for a person convicted of forgery in the State of North Carolina depends on various factors, including the specifications of the crime, the monetary value of the substance that was faked, or the price of the property in the case of forging a title deed. Also, the identity of both the victim and the forger plays a significant role.
A person convicted of committing a forgery in the State of North Carolina will have to face the following convictions:
- Any forgery crime relating to checks, notes, and other such counterfeit instruments is classified as a Class I Felony, which can amount to a total prison time from 3 to a maximum of 12 months in prison. In addition to this, if an individual is found with 5 or more counterfeit checks or bills on their person, they will be convicted of committing a Class G Felony. If convicted under this, they may have to face jail time from 8 to a maximum of 31 months.
- If a person is caught forging a title deed, will, or any other such related document, then the individual will be convicted of a Class H Felony. If convicted of this class of felonies, the individual will be punished by a minimum prison time of 4 months, culminating in total prison time of up to 25 months.
- Presenting a forged document to someone else, or giving them paperwork with a false endorsement or authentication. This qualifies as a Class I Felony, amounting to minimum prison time of 3 months, up to a maximum time of 12 months.