Thinking of forging someone else’s “John Hancock” on a blank check belonging to a friend or relative for your own personal gain? Think again. The crime of forgery in Indiana carries serious penalties and encompasses more than simply faking another person’s signature on a check. Indiana forgery laws include a variety of actions and legal documents that can lead to fraud and identity theft charges, as well as several other white collar crimes such as counterfeiting and driver’s license or state identification application fraud.
Elements of Forgery in Indiana
Forgery requires proof that a person, with the required intent to defraud, makes or uses a document (such as a check, money order, deed, security, bond, drug prescription, and more) in such a manner that it purports to have been made by another person. Basically, creating, altering, or forging a document with the intent to rip off another person or entity or get some financial gain.
For example, let’s put this in the context of the growing prescription drug problem in the United States. Let’s imagine a situation where a person gets a hold of a doctor’s prescription drug pad and writes out a prescription for Vicodin and forges the doctor’s signature. That person then drives to his local pharmacy and attempts to get the forged prescription filled. Here, we have a case of forgery, among other crimes.
Indiana Forgery Laws Overview
The charges and penalties under Indiana’s forgery laws are detailed below. Remember, there may be several defenses to the crime of forgery, depending on the facts of your case.
- Forgery: Level 6 felony punishable by two to eight years in prison and a fine of up to $10,000
- Counterfeiting: Level 5 felony (wobbler, could be charged as a misdemeanor) punishable by six months to three years in prison and a fine of up to $10,000.
Note: Application fraud, i.e. applying for a fake driver’s license or state identification card, is a related crime and is a Class D felony with the same possible penalties as counterfeiting.
Yes, see 18 U.S. Code Chapter 25, etc seq.
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.
If you have additional questions about the forgery or other criminal laws in Indiana, click on the following links below:
Get Legal Help with Your Forgery Case in Indiana
If you’ve been accused of forgery in Indiana, whether for faking another person's signature on a blank check or even creating fraudulent documents, now is the time to get in touch with a local criminal defense attorney. An attorney can help you understand the crime you're alleged to have committed and explain any possible defenses that are available to you.