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[A]ny forgery regardless of the penalty provided: No limit
However, it is arguable that this law applies only to felonies. After this section, the statute states:
That “other” appears before “felonies” and not “misdemeanors” is striking. This suggests the prior section applies only to felony forgery crimes. (No case law interprets this language.)
Therefore, we argue that prosecutors cannot press misdemeanor forgery charges once 18 months have passed.
Forgery occurs when someone makes or alters a written instrument “with intent to defraud.” Merely possessing a forged instrument may be forgery if the defendant has fraudulent intent. Common examples of forged documents include:
It depends on the specific forgery crime:
|Forgery (18-5-102 C.R.S.)||Class 5 felony:|
|Second-degree forgery (18-5-104 C.R.S.)||Class 1 misdemeanor:|
|Use of forged academic record (18-5-104.5 C.R.S.)||Class 1 misdemeanor:|
|Criminal possession of a forged instrument (18-5-105 C.R.S.)||Class 6 felony:|
|Criminal possession of second degree forged instrument (18-5-107 C.R.S.)||Class 2 misdemeanor:|
|Criminal possession of forgery devices (18-5-109 C.R.S.)||Class 6 felony:|
|Criminal simulation (18-5-110 C.R.S.)||Class 1 misdemeanor:|
|Trademark counterfeiting (18-5-110.5 C.R.S.)||Class 2 misdemeanor (for first-time offense):|
|Class 1 misdemeanor (for subsequent offenses):|
|Obtaining signature by deception (18-5-112 C.R.S.)||Class 2 misdemeanor:|
|Criminal impersonation (18-5-113 C.R.S.)||Class 6 felony:|
|Offering a false instrument for recording (18-5-114 C.R.S.)||Class 5 felony (in the first degree):|
|Class 1 misdemeanor (in the second degree):|
|Controlled substances – inducing consumption by fraudulent means (18-5-116 C.R.S.)||Class 4 felony:|
Possible defenses to forgery charges include:
In any case, the D.A. has the burden to prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. This is a very high bar. If the D.A. has insufficient evidence, the charges should be dropped.
A former Los Angeles prosecutor, attorney Neil Shouse graduated with honors from UC Berkeley and Harvard Law School (and completed additional graduate studies at MIT). He has been featured on CNN, Good Morning America, Dr Phil, Court TV, The Today Show and Court TV. Mr Shouse has been recognized by the National Trial Lawyers as one of the Top 100 Criminal and Top 100 Civil Attorneys.