Forgery is classified as the action of fraudulent and unlawful copying or imitation of documents, signatures, banknotes, art or other articles for deceptive purposes. Forgery, also known as making false documents, is classified as a criminal offence as per section 253 in the Crimes Act 1900 NSW, which states that:
A person who makes a false document with the intention that the person or another will use it:
- To induce some person to accept it as genuine, and
- Because of its being accepted as genuine:
- To obtain any property belonging to another, or
- To obtain any financial advantage or cause any financial disadvantage, or
- To influence the exercise of public duty,
is guilty of the offence of forgery.
As a leading criminal defence law firm based in Sydney, our expert team of criminal lawyers possess a wealth of knowledge in relation to charges of forgery.
If you or somebody you know is facing such charges, contact Benjamin Leonardo – The Defenders now for a first consultation.
As stated in section 253 of the Crimes Act 1900 (NSW), the maximum penalty for the crime of forgery is imprisonment for 10 years. However, the Court also has the ability to impose less significant penalties where appropriate. This may take form of a reduced gaol term or non-custodial sentences such as community corrections orders and intensive correction orders. In some instances, upon consideration of the crime, personal circumstances and any past criminal history, the Court may use their discretion to deal with the matter by means of a section 10 dismissal, whereby no conviction will be recorded.
If you or someone you know is facing forgery charges, contact our criminal defence law firm immediately to organise a consultation for specific advice relating to the penalties that may be enforced.
In order to be found guilty of forgery, the prosecution must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that you did commit the crime as per section 253 of the Crimes Act 1900 (NSW). Therefore, the prosecution must establish the following elements:
- That you produced a false document;
- With the intention that another person will use it;
- You induce that the document is genuine; and
- As a result of others believing that the document is genuine, your obtained property belonging to another person; or
- you obtained a financial advantage or cause a financial disadvantage to another person; or
- The forged document influenced or was could influence the exercise of public duty.
If you choose agree and plead guilty to charges of forgery made against you, and the prosecution team is able to prove that you did commit the offence, it is likely that you will face the penalties listed above.
However, it is also important to consider that a guilty plea is looked at favourably in the judicial system as it demonstrates remorse by the offender Court and could result in a less severe penalty. For example, the Court may determine that alternative punishments such as community corrections orders, intensive correction orders or conditional release orders are appropriate punishments relative to the specific crime.
For the most accurate and honest advice relating to your specific case, please contact our dedicated criminal defence lawyers to schedule a confidential consultation.
You also have the option to plead not guilty to the charges of forgery should you wish. If you decide to plead not guilty, a brief of evidence will be served. This brief contains all the evidence that the prosecution will use to try and convict you of forgery. Our expert criminal defence lawyers will thoroughly and carefully examine this brief and provide you with advice in relation to the findings. Once the evidence has been considered, you will have the ability to adhere to the not guilty plea or change your plea to guilty. Regardless of the decision, a hearing date will be set.
At the hearing, witnesses are called upon in order explain their own version of events. These witnesses can include the Police, forensic experts, anyone who witnessed the event, anyone who was in the area at the time of the offence and any victims. Your criminal defence lawyers will then have the ability to cross-examine these witnesses and ask the questions that have not yet been asked of them to cast doubt of the reliability of the evidence they present to the Court.
Furthermore, our criminal lawyers will have the ability to dismiss the allegations using relevant defence strategies. Should these defences be successful, uncertainty will be raised upon the evidence provided by the prosecution, thus disproving their claims beyond a reasonable doubt. In this instance, you will be found not guilty for the charges of forgery. However, it is important to understand that some defences only partially defend a claim in which you may be found guilty to a lesser charge. If this happens, you will be liable to penalties of some sort, however these penalties are usually less significant than those that would be incurred if found guilty of forgery.
If you or someone you know is facing fraud charges, our expert criminal defence lawyers may argue the follow criminal defences:
Duress: Arises in situations where unlawful coercion has been used to persuade the accused to the criminal activity and would not usually be something they would do if the threats had not been present.
Necessity: Although sometimes difficult to prove, the defence of necessity can be argued in situations where it is found that the accused was in imminent danger by either human or natural forces. Our criminal defence lawyers will need to establish that activity was only undertaken in order to avoid consequences that were deemed as “irreparable evil”. It must also be proven that the accused was in “imminent peril” and that they had no other alternatives to avoid the impending threat.
The crime of forgery is classified as a table offence in NSW. This means that the matter will be typically heard at a Local Court, unless elected otherwise by either yourself or the prosecution. If an election has been made, the matter will be dealt with in the District Court.
Although we are criminal defence lawyers based in Parramatta and the Sydney CBD, we have extensive experience in defending various criminal cases all over NSW. Therefore, our clients can be confident that we are able to effectively represent their case regardless is the matter is dealt with in Local, District and Supreme Courts. With widespread practice working in all these courts, our criminal defence lawyers can accurately advise you on in relation to what to expect at each.
For a first consultation, call our expert criminal law firm now.