forgery or counterfeit defenseForgery is a serious crime that can lead to a felony charge and a prison sentence up to five years with five year’s probation. Along with the prison sentence you could be charged a $5,000 fine.

According to Florida statute 831.01 “Whoever falsely makes, alters, forges or counterfeits a public record, or a certificate, return or attestation of any clerk or register of a court, public register, notary public, town clerk or any public officer, in relation to a matter wherein such certificate, return or attestation may be received as a legal proof; or a charter, deed, will, testament, bond, or writing obligatory, letter of attorney, policy of insurance, bill of lading, bill of exchange or promissory note, or an order, acquittance, or discharge for money or other property, or an acceptance of a bill of exchange or promissory note for the payment of money, or any receipt for money, goods or other property, or any passage ticket, pass or other evidence of transportation issued by a common carrier, with intent to injure or defraud any person, shall be guilty of a felony of the third degree.”

Forgery is a serious offense that can be charged as either a misdemeanor or a felony depending on the damages. There are a variety of items or documents that can be used in the trial to prove forgery was committed.

According to Florida Statute 831.025 “In prosecutions for forging or counterfeiting notes or bills of banks, or for uttering, publishing, or tendering in payment as true, any forged or counterfeit bank bills, or notes, or for being possessed thereof with intent to utter and pass the same as true, the testimony of the president and cashier of such banks may be dispensed with, if their place of residence is out of the state or more than 40 miles from the place of trial; and the testimony of any person acquainted with the signature of such president or cashier, or who has knowledge of the difference in the appearance of the true and counterfeit bills or notes of such banks may be admitted to prove that such bills or notes are counterfeit.”

You want to make sure you hire a forgery defense attorney who is experienced with handling forgery cases and cases that are similar to yours. To find the closest forgery defense lawyer you can use google or yelp to search “forgery defense lawyer near me.” Call their office and ask if they do free consultations and schedule one. You want to make sure that the lawyer you choose in the end is one who has handled cases similar to yours and can help you receive the result you want in the end.

What are the Forgery defense in Florida?

Lack of intent

It could be argued that the defendant didn’t have any intent to commit forgery. They could have never intended to deceive anyone.

Lack of capacity or knowledge

The defendant could have not known that they were committing forgery or that the items they were using were not real.


The defendant could have been forced to create the forgery by a third party who was threatening to cause harm to the defendant or their loved ones.

Top 5 reasons why you should hire a forgery defense lawyer

  1. Lawyers are familiar with the judiciary system.
    They have experience with the court system and will be able to guide you through the whole process. When looking for an attorney you want to find one that has a lot of experience in cases similar to yours.
  2. Built connections with prosecutors
    When you’ve been in a field for so long you end up meeting people and creating connections. Sometimes these connections can have benefits and lead to you having a plea bargain or negotiate your bond. Negotiations could go smoother and end up with a favorable outcome for you.
  3. They have experience in cases similar to yours
    Throughout the years, lawyers have seen different types of cases and multiple outcomes. They could have handled cases very similar to yours and some that are no where near yours, but there’s still experience. They can use their experience to know how to handle your case, what questions to ask, deals to request, and any other beneficial information to help you have a favorable outcome.
  4. They can find holes in the case
    The best way to get off of a forgery charge is to prove that you weren’t the one who committed the act. Your lawyer will know what to look for and what to ask to create a possibility of reasonable doubt of you committing the forgery.
  5. Fight for reduced penalties
    Your attorney will fight to help get you a favorable outcome. Even if they can’t get you a non-guilty sentence, they might be able to get your penalties lowered. They can get you a reduced prison sentence or a possibility of doing community service instead of probation.

Frequently Asked Questions

Forgery is a third-degree felony and can lead to a five-year prison sentence. Along with the prison sentence you could have up to five years probation and a fine of $5,000.

In Florida, Forgery is a felony and has a statute of limitation of three years.

There are four types of forgery offense. The first is signing someone else’s name on the signature line for a check addressed to you. The second is recreating a seal or someone else’s handwriting without their consent. The third is falsifying legal documents like wills, deeds, etc. The last offense is creating, recreating, altering and publishing documents that are related to money, property deed, wills, stocks, or notarized documents. The first thing that would need to be proven would be if the person willingly committed forgery and if they knew they were committing forgery. Next they would have to prove that the defendant was the one who recreated the signatures or created the documents.

Your lawyer would have to try to create doubt that you weren’t the one who committed fraud. There could be a lack of evidence that can pin the forgeries on you and leave room for a possibility that someone else committed the crime. If there’s no evidence to convict you then there’s no case.

They are all categorized as fraud. Forgery is the act of recreating, altering and publishing signatures or documents. Defalcation is the misappropriation of funds by a trusted individual. Check kiting is writing a check for funds you do not have. Pretexting is the act of pretending to be a business or trusted personnel in order to steal information from unsuspecting individuals.

Need a Counterfeit defense lawyer?

Forgery is on a wide scale of possibilities and can be as simple as signing your dad’s name of a check or manufacturing a fake will to receive benefits. This offense can lead to serious consequences and felony charges depending on the crime committed. The penalties can vary between a fine up to $10,000 to more than 10 years in prison. The best way to get off or a lesser sentence is to higher an experienced attorney who is familiar with cases similar to yours. Forgery is a wide scale of possible offenses so make sure they have handled forgery cases that are similar to your offense.

At the Smith & Eulo Law Firm, we have criminal defense lawyers to represent you in your case. Call us today for a free consultation at 407-930-8912 or email at We strive to always be available for you.