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Penal Code Section 470, Forgery in San Diego County

The San Diego District Attorney prosecutes Forgery charges very seriously. Forgery can be charged as a misdemeanor or felony, depending on the amount of the alleged loss. If charged as a misdemeanor, the punishment carries up to one year in county jail; a felony conviction can result in up to three years in prison. Forgery charges can relate to personal or business checks, cashier’s checks, money orders, bonds, etc.

To be convicted of forgery, PC 470, the district attorney must prove the following:

1. The defendant signed someone else’s name or a false name;

2. The defendant did not have authority to sign that name;

3. The defendant knew that he or she did not have that authority;


4. When the defendant signed the document he or she intended to


Intent to Defraud:

Intent to defraud means the intent to cause a loss of money, goods, services, or something of value, or to cause damage to a legal, financial or property right. Someone does not have to actually suffer a legal, financial or property loss.


There may be many defenses applicable to your case. For example, was the search that led to the documents being found legal, or did the search violate your Fourth Amendment rights. Did law enforcement elicit statements that violated your Miranda Rights? Was there intent to defraud or was there a misunderstanding or mistake.

Forgery is a very serious allegation and requires an experienced criminal defense attorney. If you are under investigation, or have been arrested or charged with Penal Code Section 470, contact my office today.