PC 470 Defense

California Penal Code 470 – Forgery

California Penal Code § 470 is the statute outlining the criminal offense for forgery. Under this statute, any person who does the following with the intent to defraud is subject to criminal prosecution:

  • Signs the name of another;
  • Signs the name of a fictitious person;
  • Counterfeits or forges a seal; or
  • Falsifies a legal document such as a will

A person's intent to defraud and the fraudulent act they commit are two of the most important legal elements the government focuses on when attempting to convict accused individuals. At Lessem, Newstat & Tooson, LLP, our legal team is capable of defending clients by disproving these legal elements, challenging the prosecution's case, and supporting defense strategies with compelling evidence.

Forgery Items

PC 470 specifies which items cannot be forged, falsified, or altered with the intent to defraud. There are a number of documents listed in the statute, all of which are documents that relate to money, personal information, and the property of persons. Examples of these items include:

  • Checks, including cashier's and traveler's checks and money orders
  • Bond or bank bill
  • Promissory note
  • Documents relating to stocks
  • Driver's licenses or other government documents

Forgery Penalties in California

Just as with most theft crimes, forgery penalties will depend on a number of factors, including the nature of the crime, the value of goods or funds allegedly obtained, and a defendant's criminal history. In any case, the penalties are stiff. Misdemeanor forgery charges are punishable by up to a year in jail. Felony forgery is punishable by up to three years in prison.

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Learn More About Your Defense During a Free Case Evaluation

Our Los Angeles forgery defense attorneys are prepared to review your case, explain the charges and penalties you face, and discuss the ways in which we may be able help with your defense. Forgery is a serious allegation that carries real, long-term penalties, and if you wish to protect your future, you need proven legal representatives on your side.

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