Forgery Defense Attorneys in Tennessee

Forgery generally refers to drafting a fake document or falsifying documents, altering an existing document or making a signature without proper authorization. If you have been charged with forgery in Tennessee, the attorneys at the law offices of Baker Associates have the knowledge, skill, experience, and resources to help you achieve the best possible resolution of your case.

Forgery in Tennessee

Any individual who commits the offense of forgery is guilty of a crime in the state of Tennessee. For the defendant to be found guilty of this offense, under T.C.A. § 39-14-114, the state must prove beyond a reasonable doubt, the existence of the following essential elements:

The Element of "Forgery of a Writing"

In enacting the forgery statute, the legislature went to some length to define the concept of forgery of a writing. In Tennessee, "forge" can refer to four different types of conduct.

In the first instance, forge means to "alter, make, complete, execute or authenticate any writing so that it purports to either:

Second, to forge a writing can mean the making of false entries in books or records. An affirmative example of forgery in this instance is Dickson v. State where a false entry was made in a bank's books so that the books would balance and conceal previous thefts or embezzlements by defendant employees. In that case, the court held that actual loss by the Bank was not essential to the commission of the crime of fraudulently making false entry upon employer's books.

Third, to forge can mean to issue, transfer, register the transfer of, pass, publish, or otherwise utter a writing that is forged. This type of forgery is often called the "offense of uttering forged papers." Its particular elements consist of (1) actual knowledge that the instrument (such as a check) is false, (2) representations, either direct or implied, that the instrument is genuine and (3) intent to defraud.

The last type of forgery is simply the mere possession of a writing that is forged within the meaning contemplated in the first instance (the bulleted list above).

What does it mean to forge a "writing"? According to Tennessee law, a writing includes printing or any other method of recording information, money, coins, tokens, stamps, seals, credit cards, badges, trademarks, and symbols of value, right, privilege or identification.

The Element of Intent to Defraud or Harm

While the act of forgery may be easy to show, the state often has difficulty in proving the intent to defraud element of the crime. Actions that are proof of intent include, for example, evidence of previous or other contemporaneous forgeries and proof of erasures on a forged document traced back to the defendant.

Documents that can be the object of forgery include contracts, identification cards, deeds and titles, checks and money orders. Tennessee law also states that forgery shall be no less than a Class E felony, which carries a sentence between one to six years in jail and up to a $3,000 fine.

Defending Your Rights

If you or a loved one has been charged with forgery in East Tennessee, please get in touch with a white collar crime lawyer in Johnson City at Baker Associates to find out more about your legal rights and options. Tennessee forgery defense attorneys know the impact a conviction for forgery can have on your life. Our criminal defense lawyers have successfully represented individuals charged with forgery and other serious criminal offenses. We always offer a free, comprehensive and completely confidential consultation.

To schedule a complimentary evaluation with a criminal defense lawyer at our office, complete the form below.

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Knox County
2126 First Tennessee Plaza
800 South Gay Street
Knoxville, Tennessee 37929

Phone: (865) 521-0001
Toll-free: (866) 853-2888

Sevier County
121 Court Avenue
Sevierville, Tennessee 37862

Phone: (865) 546-6000
Toll-free: (866) 853-2888

Washington County
300 East Main Street
Johnson City, Tennessee 37601

Tennessee Identity Theft Defense Attorney Disclaimer: The forgery crime, white collar offense, or other legal information presented at this site should not be construed to be formal legal advice, nor the formation of a lawyer or attorney client relationship. Any results set forth here were dependent on the facts of that case and the results will differ from case to case. Please contact a lawyer at our law firm. This web site is not intended to solicit clients for matters outside of the State of Tennessee.

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