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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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Truly There for You

Jeff is the best attorney my husband and I have used. He actually cared about what was best for my family. He actually fought for my husband and was on his side. He listened to my husband and made us feel like he was on our side and we could trust him with my husband’s future. I suggest to anyone looking for an attorney to put your trust in Jeff, he got us the best deal ever.

— Raena

Wonderful Experience with Colleen Kelley

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.

Excellent Representation!

Jeff was with me from Day 1 after getting pulled over for an accused DUI charge. Jeff’s knowledge of the process and responsiveness to my questions, concerns were impressive. His professionalism to me and in court was excellent. Jeff truly made this stressful and emotionally taxing situation 100 times better. I am grateful he was referred to me. I would definitely recommend Jeff if ever faced with a driving-related charge. Jeff will be my first call in the future for any legal counsel (which hopefully, is never again).

— Scott

Outstanding Law Firm

Wolf Law was very helpful in fulfilling my personal needs. Colleen Kelley knew how to approach my case and made me feel better about my results in the bargain. I would recommend her to anyone with criminal trouble; she is an amazing lawyer.

— Levi

The Best Lawyer I’ve Ever Come Across

I got my first DUI in April when I fell asleep in my car because I couldn’t get inside my house. I knew I needed a lawyer to help me fight the case but I was really hesitant on who I wanted to hire. I came across Jeffrey Wolf and I couldn’t be any happier that I chose him to represent me. Jeffrey is not only very professional but he can also relate to you on a personal level. Since it was my first offense I had no idea what to expect or what I was doing. He guided me through the whole process and I was very pleased with the results. He was able to convince the Judge to let me off with 6 months of unsupervised probation and level 1 education classes. Jeffrey is very loyal and a wonderful lawyer, definitely hiring him again if need be.

— Anonymous

I Would Give Wolf Law 50 stars Out of 10 if I Could

I wanted to take a moment and give a MASSIVE THANK YOU to Wolf Law (and Colleen Kelley specifically)!

I had contacted Wolf Law recently regarding a previous offense and legal registration questions. This was for Sex Offender De-registration for the State of Colorado. After taking the time to review my case, my information, etc. etc, Wolf Law was able to take my case.

Considering the amount of time and effort involved to be removed, I am extremely grateful for Colleen Kelly/Wolf Law’s assistance in the matter.

After almost a decade, I was removed from the registry, and can now put a long chapter of my life behind me.

I would give Wolf Law 50 stars out of 10 if I could.

Again, THANK YOU Wolf Law for all your assistance and help in this matter!

I would very very very much recommend Wolf Law for your legal needs and/or situations. Please take a moment to contact them if you need to!

— Anonymous

Representation by Jeff Wolf

Counselor Wolf was very professional, and each time we met to discuss my case he was patient and explained what we could expect and what might happen through each step in my proceedings. Counselor Wolf presented himself as very knowledgeable, confident and professional throughout our dealings in this matter. Thank you Jeff, I appreciate your attention to detail and adept representation.

— Jack O.

Excellent Lawyer

I would like to share my experience and recommend Jeffrey Wolf at Wolf Law for their dedication and awesome team. I had recently contacted the Wolf Law firm with a rather challenging case and he was able to get it resolved satisfactorily and for that, thank you.

— Cece M.

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.

Responsive, Insightful, Professional and Compassionate

Jeff is not only great in the courtroom, but has a sense of caring and true passion for his profession. He takes the time to explain things with a productive attitude. I would highly recommend him and can’t thank him enough.

— Mike