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Colorado Forgery Laws

Forgery – whether we are talking about forging fake checks or forging another person’s signature -- can lead to big trouble. From Boulder to Aspen, Colorado forgery laws penalize the activities of falsely making, completing, altering, or uttering (offering as true) a written instrument with the intent to defraud. Below you will find key information such as an example of forgery, associated crimes, and more.

Example of Forgery

Let’s say you really want to win the Colorado State Lottery (and who doesn’t?). Instead of simply buying a lottery ticket, however, you think of a brilliant scheme of using your handy computer and making some authentic-looking tickets. Can you do this? Sure. But if you attempt to pass these tickets off as “real,” you’ve just committed the crime of forgery.

Associated Crimes

There are several other crimes that are associated with forgery in Colorado. These include possession of forged documents, possession of forged documents, fraud, identity theft, falsifying academic records to get into high school or higher education, and more.

Colorado Forgery Laws at a Glance

The charges and penalties under Colorado’s forgery laws are detailed below. Remember, there may be several defenses to the crime of forgery, depending on the nature and circumstances of your case.



  • First Degree Forgery: Class 5 felony punishable by one to three years in prison and a fine of $1,000 to $100,000
  • Second Degree Forgery: Class 1 misdemeanor punishable by punishable by six to 18 months in jail, a fine of $500 to $5,000, or both.
  • Note: Uttering a forged document to a peace officer shall create a presumption that the person intended to defraud such peace officer.

First Degree Forgery Document Types

  • Money, stamps, or government securities issued by a government agency
  • Stocks or bonds
  • Deeds, wills, contracts, or other legal documents
  • Public records
  • Tokens, transfers, or tickets used in the place of money
  • Lottery tickets, or
  • Identification documents

Note: State laws are always subject to change through the passage of new legislation, rulings in the higher courts (including federal decisions), ballot initiatives, and other means. While we strive to provide the most current information available, please consult an attorney or conduct your own legal research to verify the state law(s) you are researching.

Colorado Codes and Supreme Court Decisions

Additional Resources

If you have additional questions about Colorado’s forgery laws, click on the following links:

Facing Forgery Charges? Get Legal Help Today

Whether you’ve been accused of forging someone else’s signature, a lottery ticket, or altering some other type of document, you should understand the charges being brought against you. The good news is that a Colorado criminal defense lawyer can assist you with that and recognizing the penalties associated with these crimes. 

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