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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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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

Wolf Law is Well Worth the Investment

Thanks to Jeff Wolf I had the ideal outcome on my case, whereas without any representation it would’ve been a less than desirable outcome without me even fully knowing my options. He was extremely informative and thorough; it was clear that not only did he know what to do for every scenario but I was confident that he would make it happen, which he did. Very personable and easy to trust, I highly recommend Jeff and Wolf Law.

— Jeff H.

6-Month Jail Sentence Reduced to 90 Days

I was arrested in May 2014 for a warrant that I had since 2010 for DUR, I was facing a six month jail sentence that would have caused me to lose my business, home, as well as once again re-offend me. After countless calls and conversations and meetings with numerous attorneys I was referred to Jeffery Wolf. By simply speaking with him over the phone I felt a little at ease, until I met with him and after that I was completely at ease. He made feel the way an attorney is suppose to make a client feel. He was extremely personable, caring, honest, completely honest, and very detailed as to what his process is and what will take place in court.

On the day of my hearing Jeff arrived a little early and had me wait in the hallway while he stepped into the court room and went to bat for me. The result was a 0 point violation allowing me to keep my DL, a six-month jail sentence reduced to 90 days in-home detention, and a $67 fine, which was way more than I expected.

I highly recommend Jeff he is an excellent attorney that takes your case as serious as you do. I hope I never have to hire an attorney again but if I do without a doubt Jeffrey Wolf will be my first and only thought.

— David

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

Hit and Run Charges

I had multiple charges stacked against me by the CSP office for a questionable “hit and run” in my office parking lot. Jeff reviewed the video evidence and was able to get the charges reduced from 26 points against my driver’s license down to 4. He was also able to get the fines reduced to the minimum amount! Jeff was extremely knowledgeable and helped ease my fears each time we spoke and explained the whole process and what to expect along the way. Thank you, Jeff!

— Jim M.

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

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.

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Colleen was a great lawyer and made everything easily understandable.

— Juan

Complete Professionals

This law firm is the true example of professionalism. They are very responsive, very up front and extremely respectful. Colleen is an amazing attorney who truly enjoys what she does. I would recommend Colleen to anyone. She is honest, hard working, no BS, and gets the job done. She knows what to say and when to say it. She definitely went above and beyond for me. I would 100 percent use her again without a doubt.

— Zach

I Was Lucky to Have Jeff Represent Me

After a referral from a friend, I was lucky enough to have Jeff represent me in a domestic violence case. I found Jeff to be extremely professional and experienced in his field. This being my first experience with the court system, he took the time to explain the process and my options in terms I could understand. I never felt like he was forcing me to take one option over another, he clearly explained each one and, while giving his recommendation, left it up to me as to which decision I felt would be the best for me and my family.

I am very pleased with the outcome of my case and would highly recommend Jeff to anyone in this situation.

— Melissa