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Forgery

Las Vegas White Collar Crime Defense Attorney Describes Nevada Crime of Forgery (NRS 205.090)

forgery lawsForgery is a serious property crime in Nevada that is sometimes referred to as a type of “white collar” crime or fraud. Forgery is sometimes confused with other identity theft crimes.

Forgery is a felony offense that can hurt your future job prospects, especially in a professional setting. Nick Wooldridge – a skillful defense attorney in Las Vegas, NV – can work to reduce the charges against you if you have been arrested for forgery.

What is considered forgery in Nevada?

Forgery is much more than signing another person’s name on a document. Instead, any of the following activities can be considered forgery if they are done intentionally:

  • Uttering statements about;
  • Publishing;
  • Passing off or attempting to pass off as true or genuine,

any of the following documents:

  • Receipts;
  • Letters and other communications;
  • Contracts;
  • Deeds;
  • Money;
  • Checks;
  • Will or trust; or
  • Other document for transferring money or ownership, including signatures on those documents

with the intention of defrauding, damaging, or prejudicing another person if those documents are not accurate or real.

The Nevada Supreme Court uses this simplified definition: “any person who (1) passes or attempts to pass, as true and genuine, a forged or false instrument, (2) knowing it to be forged or false, (3) with intent to defraud, is guilty of forgery.” Anderson v. State (2014).

Forgery is often charged with other crimes such as burglary, theft, and computer crimes. The District Attorney in Clark County has shown interest in charging forgery for a variety of activities that you might not expect. For example, in a recent case against waitstaff in restaurants in major casinos, the D.A. brought forgery charges for restaurant workers who combined different tables’ tabs onto “comped” checks so they could pocket the cash paid by certain patrons. The forgery charges were brought in addition to theft and computer crimes charges, and all are felony charges.

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What is the penalty for a forgery conviction in Nevada?

Forgery is a Category D felony offense in Nevada. Category D felonies carry 1 to 4 years in a Nevada prison and up to $5,000 in fines. The court may also require restitution to the victim of forgery if it was used to achieve monetary gain for the defendant.

As mentioned, forgery is rarely charged alone, and so one set of circumstances may result in multiple felony convictions. Convictions for these crimes are especially harmful in the future because they suggest dishonesty and deceit, which may make future employers hesitant to give you a chance at employment. For this reason, hiring an experienced forgery defense lawyer is critical in these cases, both to get the charges reduced or dismissed, and to avoid disastrous consequences in your future life.

Making or Using Fake IDs in Nevada

A person who uses a fake ID (usually someone under the age of 21 trying to purchase alcohol or enter a place reserved for adults 21 and over) can be convicted of a misdemeanor. A misdemeanor carries up to 6 months in jail and $1,000 in fines.

A person who manufactures or sells fake IDs can face charges for a gross misdemeanor. Gross misdemeanors carry up to $2,000 in fines and 1 year in jail.

In both of these cases, fake IDs are a type of forgery charge that does not result in a felony on your record if convicted.

Forgery and Federal Law

Forgery is also a federal offense, but usually the state will charge a defendant with forgery unless it occurred in multiple states. At that point, the federal government takes an interest in stopping the behavior.

More Information

If you have been accused of forgery, you should retain a Las Vegas criminal lawyer as soon as possible to defend your rights.

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