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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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Professional, Thorough and Successful

Jeff handled my case with expertise and professionalism. He examined my case quickly and accurately then presented me with sound options and advice going forward. Very satisfied with the almost immediate responses to phone calls and emails. Pleased with the outcome Jeff was able to provide in my case.

— Charlie G.

Beyond Expectations

Words cannot express how grateful I am to have been represented by Wolf Law. Any petition involving removal from the sex offender registry should never be handled on your own. Each case is unique, and the complications with mine were met with the highest degree of compassion and professionalism. I was treated as a human being that made a terrible mistake, rather than a monster as the stigma typically implies.

Thanks to the hard work of my attorney, Cassandra Monahan, as well as the other attorneys and legal staff that I had the pleasure of interacting with, I can finally bring a very painful chapter of my life to a close. There is much to be said about an attorney that performs as though they have a vested interest in your case as opposed to one that just wants your money. I highly recommend Wolf Law!

— JW

Sensitive Criminal Matter

At first I was unsure, working with attorneys can be so stressful and difficult to gauge if they can help you effectively. I used this firm for two different cases and I was glad that they were reasonable and didn’t tell me falsehoods. Straight to the point and don’t promise you rainbows and butterflies. That is what you want: a straight up lawyer who doesn’t give you nonsense. Be patient, they will help you and you can feel like they forgot; but that’s just how this stuff goes. Court cases take time and they have many clients, its nothing personal. When we went to court everything was laid out for me to understand and I think they prepared for each task. Each case was handled professionally and they answered all my questions. Thank you, Cassandra and Colleen

— Anonymous

Professional, Passionate and Knowledgeable

This was my first experience with the law, and Jeffrey Wolf did a fantastic job of guiding me and my family through this. He was always available to answer any concerns I had, realistic in terms of what we were looking at, and passionate about getting us through this. He truly took my case to heart and was a lifesaver through a trying time. Thanks to him, I still have a chance to succeed in my career and lead a normal life!

— Tyler C.

Highly Recommended

First of all, I would like to thank Colleen Kelley and all the staff at Wolf Law for helping me greatly with my legal matters. I called and was able to get consulted that same day, and the prices are very manageable. Colleen did an awesome job and took her time reviewing all the evidence and negotiating with the DA. In my first case she was able to get the charges completely dismissed, which was very impressive. I had a second case where she got me a deferred judgment deal, which was great considering the charges pending. I am very pleased with her efforts and time spent working on my case. Again, I would highly recommend Wolf Law, giving them 5/5 stars!

— Michael

Jeff is a Powerhouse in the Courtroom

Jeff is truly an expert in his field. He is extremely knowledgeable and bright and it was clear throughout his management of my case that he is highly respected. He was very supportive of my desire to see my case through to trial, he was always empathetic, and he took the time to understand my personal and professional situation. He was determined to get me the best outcome with the least impact to my personal and professional life and he succeeded. We were dealing with a refusal and I have little doubt that I would not have had the same results with another attorney. Jeff is a powerhouse in the courtroom! I am beyond appreciative and would strongly recommend anyone facing challenging legal issues to seek out Jeff’s expertise.

— Jana S.

Professional. Attentive. Experienced. Successful.

I was referred to Jeff by one of my friends who was recently represented by Wolf Law in his DUI case; I will be forever grateful for that recommendation. Jeff made this extremely stressful process feel much more manageable from start to finish. He was always responsive and highly communicative, even throughout my barrage of anxiety driven questioning. He was a maestro in the courtroom and was able to get me the absolute minimum penalties. He even got certain areas of my very unique case dismissed – saving me thousands of dollars in the process. While I hope I never have to, I will surely be recommending Wolf Law as DUI representation to any of my friends and family in the future.

— Anonymous

A Great Lawyer

Colleen was a great lawyer and made everything easily understandable.

— Juan

Fully and Enthusiastically Recommended

When I was arrested for DUI/careless driving, I was overcome with a profound sense of hopelessness – I couldn’t eat, I couldn’t sleep, and I thought my life (including my career) was ruined. Making the decision to call Mr. Wolf for a consultation was the best decision I could have made. His immediate response set my mind at ease and gave me a the peace of mind that I so desperately needed.

Upon meeting him in person, I was thoroughly impressed by his experience and expertise, but what really struck me was his personable demeanor and genuine interest in helping me. He was very patient in explaining the legal process and made sure I was well prepared for every step of the way.

There is no doubt that his representation and advocacy, as well as the advice he had given me in order to prepare for court, resulted in an outcome that was more positive than I had dared hoped for (a DWAI with license intact and a reduced probation sentence), allowing me to move forward with my life. Mr. Wolf far exceeded my expectations, and I would absolutely recommend him to anyone seeking legal counsel.

— Anonymous

Jeff Wolf Helped Me Keep My Job

Jeff was a terrific advocate while representing me through my DWAI. He was professional. I am convinced that it was his prior trial experience and effective communication skills that secured a much more desirable sentence than I had expected. I am positive that Jeff’s representation made it so that I could keep my job.

— Matt