Imitation Is The Sincerest Form Of Flattery … And May Be Illegal

Posted on: 21 November 2022

It's not against the law to recreate documents, paper money, clothing, art, and more. It's what happens to the items after you do so that could get you in trouble. Read on to find out how the law looks at imitation that goes beyond flattery.

Forgery Is Illegal

When you sign someone else's signature, you may be guilty of forgery. Most cases of forgery concern businesses and the money used to purchase supplies and pay the employees. These crimes are often carried out by trusted employees with access to the payment systems of a business. Bookkeepers, accountants, clerks, and other employees may not set out to become criminals. Sometimes, they fully intend to pay the money back before anyone discovers it's missing. However, they may only pay the money back as part of their punishment once they are caught, charged, and convicted of forgery.

Forgery is not only about signing names to checks illegally, though. The following offenses are also illegal:

  • The creation and use of fake driver's licenses, college degrees, vaccination cards, passports, and other official documents in an effort to obtain services or privileges undeservedly.
  • Creating, selling, and profiting from artwork not made by the original artist.
  • Benefitting from anything made to look like a well-known designer item. This area comes a bit close to another type of illegal act, counterfeiting. However, counterfeiting often involves the large-scale production of items.

Identity Theft

This type of forgery can hit home though it doesn't necessarily have anything to do with a business. Anyone can have their lives changed by identity theft. With this form of forgery, someone steals certain personal information about an individual and creates an alternate life using credit based on their name. Though it varies by state, sometimes this type of crime falls under the cybercrime category.

Did You Intend to Commit Forgery?

Forgery depends on the element of intent. It's easy to accidentally forge a signature or to do it for innocent reasons. If you are an employee of a company, for instance, it may be common practice to sign your supervisor's name on documents and even checks. If your supervisor is caught perpetrating forgery, however, you could also be implicated. Being able to show that you had no idea of what your supervisor was doing is a key factor in your defense.

Speak to a criminal defense attorney about your forgery arrest right away. You have a lot to prove, and your lawyer will need time to gather the evidence that may set you free.

Contact a criminal defense attorney for more information.