It is a common story: a child fails a test and must get their parent to sign their paper and return it to their teacher. Rather than asking their parent and showing them their bad grade, the child attempts to replicate their parent’s signature on the document. Often, Indiana kids who attempt this form of forgery are caught and punished for their actions. Adults who are accused of committing forgery can face serious and sometimes life-altering consequences.
Forgery is a crime recognized by Indiana law and is made up of several important elements. This post will touch on some of those elements, but all readers are encouraged to seek out their own help with their legal troubles. The world of criminal law and justice is confusing, and the best information can come from a knowledgeable legal professional.
The mental state requirement of forgery
Most crimes, including forgery, require an individual to have a certain mindset or intention to commit the crime they are accused of. Without an intention or clear specific disregard for a possible criminal outcome, a person could accidentally or mistakenly break a law and face serious punishments for their errors. To be guilty of forgery, a person must intend to defraud another party through the use of a forged document as discussed below.
The act requirement of forgery
Planning to commit forgery is not enough to convict someone of the crime of forgery. The individual must take some action to make an alleged forgery happen. Under the law, when a person intends to defraud another by making or possessing a document that meets one of the following conditions, a forgery may have occurred:
- A document allegedly made by someone else;
- A document made at another time;
- A document made with different terms; or
- A document made without the authority of some who has been alleged to have given authority.
Forgery requires a person to both have the right mindset and take some action to be convicted of the crime.
Understanding levels of proof, required intentions and physical actions can be very hard on an individual who is worried about how they will take care of themselves and their loved ones while dealing with criminal charges. In these difficult times, many individuals seek the support of trusted criminal defense lawyers. Criminal defense attorneys understand the laws that individuals must work within and the possible defense strategies that can help advance their cases. Located in Indianapolis, the law firm of Kammen & Moudy is available to provide criminal defense clients with case-specific support and advice.