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Fraud and forgery are commonly referred to as “white-collar” crimes because they’re nonviolent and financially motivated. While fraud and forgery charges often go hand-in-hand, they are not the same and each may be charged independently.

The Denver criminal defense attorneys at Wolf Law handle a wide range of fraud and forgery cases. Our lawyers treat these charges with the seriousness they deserve, and we work tirelessly to achieve the best possible outcome for our clients.

To learn more about your options following a Colorado fraud or forgery arrest, call Wolf Law at 720-479-8574 or contact us online for a free consultation.

Fraud and Forgery in Colorado: Definitions

According to Colorado Revised Statutes, fraud may involve several types of deceptive behavior including insurance fraud, money laundering, identity theft, and forgery.

Thief holding a social security card
Fraud can involve several types of deceptive behavior, including identity theft.

Generally speaking, fraud charges involve a wrongful act performed with the intent to gain an unfair or undeserved benefit coupled with an intent to cause harm or loss to someone else.

Forgery is categorized by severity or degree and involves “written instruments,” which include “any paper, document, or other instrument containing written or printed matter or the equivalent thereof…which is capable of being used to the advantage or disadvantage of some person.”

A person commits forgery in the first degree if, with the intent to defraud, that person falsely makes, completes, alters, or utters a written instrument which is or purports to be:

  1. Money, stamps, securities, or other valuable instruments issued by a government or government agency
  2. Stock, bonds, or other instruments representing interests in or claims against a corporate or other organization or its property
  3. A deed, will, codicil (an addendum or supplement to a will), contract, assignment, commercial instrument, promissory note, check, or other instrument which affects or may affect a legal right, interest, obligation, or status
  4. A public record or an instrument filed or required by law to be filed or legally fileable
  5. A written instrument officially issued or created by a public office, public servant, or government agency
  6. Tokens, transfers, certificates, or other articles manufactured and designed for use in transportation fees upon public conveyances, or as symbols of value
  7. Lottery tickets or shares designed for use in the lottery
  8. A document-making device that may be used or is used in the production of a false identification document or in the production of another document-making implement to produce false identification documents

A person may be charged with second-degree forgery if he or she—with the intent to defraud—falsely makes, completes, alters, or utters a written instrument not described above. This may include a forged signature on a credit card receipt or providing false information on an insurance application.

Colorado Fraud and Forgery Penalties

Colorado fraud charges can range from petty offenses to felonies, depending on the value of the property, the type of property involved, and the relationship between the defendant and the victim.

Hand with tweezers holding id photo over passport as if forging the travel documents
Forgery includes falsely making, completing or altering certain “written instruments,” including passports and other documents.

A “bad check,” for example, is one that’s written to purchase something with the knowledge that the individual’s account lacks sufficient funds to cover the purchase. If a bad check is written for less than $50 dollars, it will likely be charged as a petty offense; however, if the check was written for more than $2,000, the charge escalates to a Class 6 felony, which has a minimum penalty of one year in prison and/or a $1,000 fine.

Generally speaking, the penalty for fraud increases as the value of the fraud increases.

Forgery is a type of fraud. First-degree forgery (aka felony forgery) is a Class 5 felony punishable by up to three years in prison and/or a fine of up to $100,000.

Second-degree forgery is a Class 1 misdemeanor and is punishable by up to 18 months in jail and/or a fine of up to $5,000.

Additionally, it is illegal to knowingly possess forged instruments with the intention to use said instruments to defraud someone. Criminal possession of a forged instrument is punishable by up to 18 months in jail and/or a fine of up to $100,000. Criminal possession of a second-degree forged instrument is punishable by up to 12 months in jail and/or a fine of up to $1,000.

Lastly, possession of any device, apparatus, document-making implement (e.g., computerized template), or equipment (e.g., printing plates, dye, etc.) that does or could make forged instruments is strictly prohibited by law.

Criminal possession of forgery devices is punishable by up to 18 months in prison and/or a fine of up to $100,000.

Defending Fraud and Forgery Charges in Colorado

If you’re facing fraud or forgery charges in Colorado, the situation is not hopeless. At Wolf Law, our team is dedicated to personalized criminal defense representation for all clients, including those who may face a variety of fraud and forgery charges.

We’ll thoroughly assess your case and consider factors including:

  • Did the defendant demonstrate clear intent to defraud?
  • Did the defendant know he or she possessed forged instrument?
  • Does the document in question fit the legal definition of a forged instrument?
  • Was evidence collected lawfully?

Our criminal defense lawyers will treat you with the compassion you deserve and fight hard to get the best possible results based on your unique situation.

Get the Denver Defense Lawyer You Need

A law book with a gavel - Criminal law
If you’re facing fraud or forgery charges, one of the most important steps you can take is to consult with a criminal defense lawyer.

Fraud and forgery charges are complicated, and in some cases—such as mail fraud or the forgery of government checks or bonds—they are federal crimes.

The Denver criminal defense lawyers at Wolf Law understand the complexity and severity of these charges, and we’re here to help. We’ll conduct a comprehensive examination of the evidence and the circumstances surrounding your arrest

to mount the most effective challenge in an effort to minimize potential penalties.

If you’re being investigated for fraud or forgery, or are facing fraud and/or forgery charges, please call Wolf Law today at 720-479-8574 for a free initial consultation or contact our Denver office online.

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I worked with Jeffrey on my first DUI case. I had a high BAC but instead of focusing on that, he had me focus on the things I could do before court to prepare. I did my part and he did too. 2/3 charges dropped, 1 largely reduced which prevented any jail time. I’m so thankful, highly recommend Wolf Law.

— Aaron S.

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I recently had the pleasure of becoming Colleen Kelley’s client. Even despite the terrible circumstances of fighting wrongful criminal charges, Colleen provided a supportive and pleasant experience during this process. Thankfully, I was introduced to Colleen through another attorney. She took my case on short notice and started working on my behalf in less than 24 hours by showing up to court the day after I secured her services.

She was diligent in her research, communication, and pursuit of justice. In just three short months, my case was dismissed. During this three-month nightmare, Colleen provided clarity and assurance along the way. While Colleen was very thorough in regards to every possible outcome I might experience, her professionalism and devotion to this case made it clear that the outcomes would be outstanding from day one. I’m so thankful that I found Colleen to represent me. I would highly recommend her services.

— Dawn R.

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I was very impressed with the services provided and knowledge of him, and his firm. His direct communication and direction were very helpful and very much appreciated.

Thank you.

— Steve Bares

I Was Very Well Represented by Jeff

Regarding a DV assault charge, Jeff was able to have the judge do something he stated he’d never done in any similar case: he deferred my sentence, reduced probation, reduced the amount of classes I would have to take from being many weeks on end to 2 days, and instead of requiring a no-contact order (which would have left me homeless and unable to speak to my partner via any means), he placed me on a no-contact order with alcohol… That alone was the best thing I could hear.

Without going into details of my case, this was the best possible outcome I could have been given, and I’m so happy that I was recommended to him by a fellow law professional that went to school with Jeff. I will be using him again when the time comes to put this case behind me for good, and would recommend him to anyone who needs expert defense, and wants someone to explain your case in simple, yet professional terms. I felt very well taken care of. Thank you again, Jeff!

— Laurie A.

Good Outcome

Mr. Wolf offered excellent service, fast responses and prompt communication. I was so relieved that he was willing and able to take my case. He and his team are very professional and got me the best possible outcome.

— Brian

My Heart Was Ripped Out, Wolf Law Showed Compassion

In early March, my heart was seemingly ripped out. I was driving into town with my two children, 5 and 2, in extremely inclimate weather conditions when my car hit a patch of ice and I lost control of my vehicle. It was a horrific accident and I was the only survivor in my vehicle. As if this wasn’t the worst thing that could have ever happened, I was charged with careless driving resulting in death, two counts. I was referred to Mr. Wolf by four separate law offices, as well as the BAR Association. The District Attorney’s office attempted to raise my charges to much more serious felony charges that could have carried very harsh sentences. Mr. Wolf was able to maintain the original charges and speak compassion and mercy to the the judge, leaving me facing only community service and a short probation with minimal associated probation costs. I would recommend his services to anybody and everybody. Not only is he incredibly knowledgeable, but he is passionate about his work, while showing the utmost compassion and respect for his clients’ situation.

— Jamie

Wolf Law is your best option!

I’ve had the privilege of getting Jeff Wolf to represent me in my 1st DUI case. He did a great job explaining the case, the possible outcomes and overall getting good results. I highly recommend his services to anyone who has any moving violation infraction perhaps more and want to have the best results in court. Thank you Jeff.

— Marco

Jeff Wolf Cares About You as a Person

Jeff Wolf is extremely timely, reliable, and efficient. He cares about you as more than just another case, he cares about you as a person. Jeff worked with me on my out-of-state case and went above and beyond to ensure that I received the best possible outcome.

— Anonymous

I Recommend Jeff Wolf to Anyone Needing Legal Defense

I retained the services of Jeff Wolf after I received a DUI. During the free consultation, Jeff reviewed his services and the details of what would happen before, during and after my trial. He was very thorough, supportive and diligent in ensuring all my questions were answered. I am thrilled with the level of service he provided for an extremely reasonable fee. Jeff was accessible and reassuring throughout this entire process. The end-result of my hearing was exactly what I had expected based on Jeff’s counseling. This is a direct result of his knowledge and experience with the court and the system. I was very impressed with his closing presentation in court and his professionalism and felt that the judge reduced my fines and my sentence because of Jeff’s efforts. I have already recommended him to two other people and will continue to recommend him to anyone requiring the services of a defense attorney.

— Monty

I Couldn’t Have Asked for a Better Lawyer

Until the night of my DUI, I had never been in trouble before so one could only imagine how scared I was. Facing a DUI with a possible felony/assault charge, I honestly wasn’t sure how I was going to get through it all. I happened to find Jeffrey Wolf through another lawyer. After meeting with him in person, I knew immediately that he was going to help me. I was a complete wreck from day 1 and yet he made me feel at ease with every meeting, phone call and court appearance.

One of the traits I appreciated most was his honesty. Mr. Wolf told me straight up from the beginning what could happen and what I was facing but reassured me that he would do everything he could to get me through it with the best outcome. Having him there with me through this process and through every court appearance with him by my side made it easier to handle and I am so grateful to have worked with him. At the end of it all, I was able to get probation with a deferred judgment on my case. I would absolutely refer Mr. Wolf to any of my friends and/or family!

— Nichole G.