In Florida, you are uttering a forged document if you passed, offered, or made use of a forged document with the knowledge that it was forged and intended to defraud or injure an entity or person. One of the most common examples of uttering a forged instrument is signing another person's name on a document such as a check. Often times, the person who provides the forged instrument is not even the person who made it but is being promised a portion of the money or goods that are received.
The only intent required in uttering a forged instrument is the intent to injure or defraud. This means that it is not necessary that the intended victim was actually defrauded, only that the forged document was presented to that victim. An example of this would be a bank discovering a check had been forged. Even if the bank does not cash the check, the prosecution will say that the crime was still committed because the forged check had been presented to the bank with the intent to be cashed, therefore defrauding the bank.
Forgeries of deeds to land on Mars, licenses to kill, or checks of infinite amounts are not considered forgeries because the reasonable person should know these documents to be untrue or unreasonable. Uttering a forged instrument is classified as a third degree felony which means punishments can include up to five years in prison or on probation and $5,000 in fines.
Paying restitution to the victim of the forged instrument can go a long way in resolving the matter early and reducing potential punishment. However, it is essential to discuss your case with an experienced criminal defense lawyer who can protect your rights at all stages of the legal process. To learn more about your charges, the penalties you face, and how Taracks & Associates can help, contact our firm today.