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Illinois Lawmakers Change Definition of Forgery for 2012

Posted on in White collar crime

While state lawmakers made several changes to the Illinois Criminal Code for 2012, one major change involves the broadening of the definition of forgery under Illinois law. A forgery offense is a Class 3 felony, which carries a penalty of a prison sentence ranging from two to five years, as well as a fine of no more than $25,000, and restitution in an amount of no more than the total amount of the victim’s loss. As the penalties for forgery are quite severe, it is important that everyone realize what types of conduct constitutes forgery under the Illinois Compiled Statutes.

Forgery occurs when, with the intent to defraud, a person knowingly makes a false document or alters any document so that it is false, and the document is capable by its appearance of defrauding another. Additionally, forgery occurs when a person issues or delivers such a document, or possesses the document with the intent to issue or deliver it.

In the past, a document had to appear as if it were created by another person in order to qualify as the crime of forgery. The revisions to the law, however, state that the document can be a forgery even if bears the name of and is signed by the person who actually made the document.

The revised forgery statute simplifies the elements of the crime. As a result, the state must only prove that a document is false and that it is capable by its appearance of defrauding another person in order to prove that someone committed the crime of forgery.

If you or a family member is accused of forgery in Illinois, it is essential that you have legal representation in order to protect your rights. Contact a Cook County, Illinois, forgery defense lawyer today for the legal assistance that you need in this situation.

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