Forgery in the Denver Metropolitan area, or anywhere in Colorado, is a serious class 5 felony. What most people do not know is that this crime is not just prosecuted for writing bad checks, but can also be charged if a person is thought to have altered a temporary license plate. This is a strong law, and in my opinion overkill, designed to keep people from unlawfully extending the amount of time they need to get their vehicle licensed.
The Basic Definition of Forgery
Forgery can be charged in Douglas County when someone is thought to have altered or created a will, contract, public records, tokens for transportation, or anything issued by a governmental agency containing anything of value. An example might be little things like an RTD token or bus passes. Forgery does not only apply to things of monetary value. It can also be charged in Jefferson County when someone knowingly uses a fake Colorado driver’s license to convey specific legal rights. Legal rights may include the ability to purchase liquor, to vote, or perhaps the right to operate a motor vehicle within the state of Colorado. Knowingly giving a police officer a fake ID is not a good idea, and may carry lifelong negative consequences. Yet, we feel this type of conduct is undeserving of a lifetime felony forgery conviction.
No Evidence? No Problem.
Like many laws, Forgery is charged by District Attorney Offices even when they do not believe they can prove the case in court. I am constantly amazed at the lack of evidence prosecutors are willing to use in filing cases. In the case of Forgery, prosecutors are required to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that a person knowingly used a forged instrument. In Jefferson and Adams County, prosecutors will file charges whenever they believe someone used a forged document without regard to their ability to prove this very important element. The element of knowingly, sets apart those with a criminal mindset from those that don’t.
When prosecutors in Lincoln or Douglas County convince themselves that a person is guilty, sometimes they will not let facts, or the lack of facts, stand in their way. They will simply prosecute hoping a jury will respond to theatrics. Our attorneys try to convince prosecutors when our clients did not commit Forgery when they did not have the intention to do so. In some cases reasonable people will agree, and in other case we are forced to make the government prove their case in court.
Considering the consequences of potential prison time, fines, being stripped of your right to possess a firearm to defend yourself, and living with a permanent felony record, it is no wonder defendants will often make the government prove allegations of Forgery in court. Accepting a plea bargain is not always the right thing to do. If it comes to it, the lawyers at O’Malley Law Office are ready fight.
We understand that going up against governmental agencies with multimillion dollar budgets in court is a scary thing, and that is why you shouldn’t do it alone. If you are charged with Forgery in Arapahoe County or anywhere in Colorado, be smart, exercise your right to remain silent, and call us at 303-731-0719. Together we can protect your future.