The act of attempting to deceive another by passing off a document, in which one has copied the signature of another to do so, is representative of the crime of forgery. Among the most common types of forged documents are contracts, vital records and other legal certificates, checks, and identification cards.
Individuals charged with this crime use sophisticated technology to attempt to make credible fake documents. In doing so, they may make modifications to existing documents or sign their signature to a contract although they're not legally authorized to do so.
Those suspected of having engaged in any number of these types of activities may be charged with fraud, provided documented evidence of the fact that they intended to deceive another can be presented. To prove that an individual purposefully deceived another, it must be proven that an individual not only knowingly did something illegal, but did so with the intention of receiving some type of monetary gain.
Among the many examples of this crime, taking another's work, whether it be written or visual, such as a artwork, and attempting to distribute it as either your own or as an original is an example of forgery. Likewise, either creating fake documents or producing counterfeit items is considered to be forgery as well.
Perhaps, though, one of the most common types of forgery is identity theft. It involves an individual taking another's personal information and using it to receive some types of benefits, money or otherwise. It's not all that uncommon that a charge of forgery associated with this crime carries with it other charges including mail theft or wire fraud charges, especially given that many thieves steal credit cards and later use them to rack up large amounts of debt.
If you've been charged with forgery, an Orange County, California, a criminal defense attorney can provide you with advice in your legal matter.
Source: FindLaw.com, "Forgery," accessed April 14, 2017