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Maryland Forgery Laws

Whether we are talking about President Lincoln’s Lost Love Letters, Hitler’s diary, or Howard’s Hughes supposed autobiography, forging literary and historical documents isn’t the only type of fraud-related crime that will get you into trouble in Maryland. Forgery typically occurs when a person with the required intent to defraud, makes or uses a document (such a signature on a check; any entry in an account book or ledger; making a fake letter of credit, bond, draft, or promissory note; or drug prescription) in such a manner that it purports to have been made by another person.

Forgery can also include forging any deed, negotiable instrument, power of attorney, release or discharge for money or property, title to a motor vehicle, waiver or release of mechanics’ lien, or last will and testament. For example, your very rich uncle leaves a will, but doesn’t include you in it. If you were to change the will by adding your own newly drafted page leaving everything to you, that’s a serious forgery crime and can land you in prison.

Maryland Forgery Laws Overview

The charges and penalties under Maryland’s forgery laws are detailed below in the following chart. Keep in mind, forgery crimes oftentimes cross state lines. If so, you may also be facing federal forgery charges. Speak with a Maryland attorney to learn more.


Types of Forgery

  • Forgery of Specified Financial or Legal Documents
  • Possession of Counterfeit Documents with the Intent to Defraud
  • Forging Signature of a Judge, Court Officer, or Other State Employee


  • Forgery of Specified Documents: Up to 10 years in prison, up to $10,000 fine
  • Possession of Counterfeit Documents with Intent to Defraud: Up to three years in prison, up to $1,000 fine
  • Forging Signature of a Judge, Court Officer, or Other State Employee: Up to five years in prison, up to $10,00 fine

Associated Crimes

Note: It is a more serious crime to be accused of manufacturing or aiding in the manufacture of a fake document than mere possession. Manufacturing is a felony with a maximum prison sentence of 10 years.

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.

Maryland Codes and Higher Court Rulings

Additional Resources

If you have additional questions about Maryland’s forgery laws, click on the following links below to learn more:

Accused of Forgery in Maryland? Get Legal Help

You may not be accused of forging a great literary work, but any accusation of forgery in Maryland can carry huge penalties and collateral consequences in the future. You should understand the charges against you and know if there are any possible defenses. Learn more by speaking with an experienced Maryland criminal defense lawyer today.

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