The Forgery crime in the state of Texas gives police the right to arrest you if they believe you forged certain kinds of “writings,” including money, trademarks, identification or credit cards, with the intent to harm or defraud someone. Learn more detailed information about the Forgery offense below.
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Forgery is classified in the Texas Penal Code under Title 7 “Offenses Against Property,” Chapter 32 “Fraud.
The offense is described in Section 32.21 of the Texas Penal Code.
(b) A person commits an offense if he forges a writing with intent to defraud or harm another.
Writings are defined in the statute to include (include implies that this is not an exhaustive list):1
(A) printing or any other method of recording information;
(B) money, coins, tokens, stamps, seals, credit cards, badges, and trademarks; and
(C) symbols of value, right, privilege, or identification.
You can be charged with Forgery if the state’s attorneys believe that each of the elements of 32.21(b) as described in the section above have been met.
A conviction for Forgery is punished by default as a Class A misdemeanor,2 with a maximum possible fine under Texas state law of up to $4,000 and jail time of up to one year.
“If the writing is or purports to be a will, codicil, deed, deed of trust, mortgage, security instrument, security agreement, credit card, check, authorization to debit an account at a financial institution, or similar sight order for payment of money, contract, release, or other commercial instrument” then a conviction for Forgery is punished as a State Jail Felony,3 with a maximum possible fine under Texas state law of up to $10,000 and jail time of up to two years.
If the writing is an issue of money or a government record then a conviction for Forgery is punished as a Felony of the Third Degree,4 with a maximum possible fine under Texas state law of up to $10,000 and prison time of up to 10 years.
If the offense is committed against an elderly person then a conviction for Forgery is punished as one the next higher category of the offense,5. Learn about the differences between grades of felonies and misdemeanors
1Texas Penal Code Section 32.21(a)(2)
2Texas Penal Code Section 32.21(c)
3Texas Penal Code Section 32.21(d)
4Texas Penal Code Section 32.21(e)
5Texas Penal Code Section 32.21(e-1)