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Forgery of Private Documents

Forgery of private documents is a serious crime in Maryland. It is a felony that carries a maximum sentence of 10 years and a maximum fine of $1000. It is a serious charge that requires a lawyer. I can handle these serious charges for you, protecting your freedom and employment. Call me at (301) 556‑8709, because your reputation is important.

One of the most common types of forgery or counterfeiting charged in Maryland is CL ยง 8-602, Counterfeiting or Forgery of Private Documents. Forgery of private documents is a crime in Maryland often charged in cases where someone has forged a check or a title to a car, but it also applies to a variety of other documents.

Forgery of private documents is sometimes charged after messy breakups between ex-lovers or spouses. One of the people in the relationship decides that they are upset with the other person, and wants to charge them with a crime, when no crime has been committed. Sometimes a manufactured assault charge is used in such cases, but sometimes forgery is alleged instead. Forgery is rather easy to allege when the two people involved have had their affairs intermingled for some time, making it relatively easy to allege that one of the partners forged the other’s signature on some sort of financial or title document, even if it never actually happened, or happened with the consent of the other person.

The State Must Prove Fraudulent Intent

In order to be guilty of forgery in Maryland, you must make a false writing, or alter an existing document, with the intent to defraud someone else. The State does not have to prove exactly which person you intended to defraud, but they do have to prove that you intended to defraud another person. Making a forgery of a private document with no intent to defraud another person is not a crime in Maryland. For instance, if you forged a check written on the account of a fictional character that was intended to be used as a prop in a movie, you would not be guilty of Forgery of Private Documents in Maryland, even though you had physically performed all the acts required to be guilty.

Possession of a Forged or Counterfeit Private Document

Forging or counterfeiting the document yourself is more serious than simply possessing the forged document. Possession of a counterfeit or forged private document is a misdemeanor, punishable by up to 3 years and a $1000 fine. Sometimes possession of a forged document is charged when the State may not be able to prove who forged the document, even if they strongly suspect that the Defendant was the one that did it.

What Constitutes a Forged Private Document?

Maryland forgery statutes do not apply to every type of document. They generally require a forgery of something important, that involves forging records of accounts, records of courts, or a document effecting the ownership or disposition of property.

Forgery of private documents, also referred to as counterfeiting of private instruments and documents, requires that the document be one of a list, all of which concern the records or disposition of accounts, money, or property.

A private document for the purpose of Maryland’s counterfeiting or forgery of private documents statute is defined as: a bond, check, deed, or draft, an endorsement or assignment of a bond, draft, check, or promissory note, an entry in an account book or ledger, a letter of credit, a negotiable instrument, a power of attorney, a promissory note, a release or discharge for money or property, a title to a motor vehicle, a waiver or release of a mechanic’s lein, or a will or codicil.

These charges can be beaten outright in many circumstances, and the wrong disposition to these cases can result in the loss of your job and render you unemployable in the future. I can help. Call me at (301) 556‑8709 today, because your future matters.