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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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Colorado Law had recently passed a law, that would help me in the messy situation I was in. I knew immediately I had to find a lawyer to discuss the situation and the circumstances surrounding the process, and eligibility requirements for my specific case. I have to admit, I was very nervous reaching out to any lawyers who could help me.

So I did my research to the best of my ability, and having questions to ask to confirm I was making the right choice in a lawyer. A friend of mine who had previously worked with Mr. Wolf, had strongly recommended that I contact him. I am very grateful that I had! He was very respectful, and had a obvious passion to help me, asking specific questions surrounding my situation so that we can both deal with the issue at hand. Talking me through the processes and possible outcomes, straight forward. No sugar coating, which is nice because I value honesty.

Throughout the whole process, I was comfortable, and very trusting, as questions were answered accurately and after I tried contacting him with new questions or comments, he would return my call or email within 24 Hours! That showed me that he cared and was on top of his workload.

Nonetheless, the outcome of my case worked really well for me, and was a success. And for that, I want to show my gratitude.

Thank You Mr. Wolf for being on my side! I strongly recommend to anyone looking for a well competent lawyer, to contact Jeffrey Wolf at Wolf Law!

— Erwin H.

Kind, Knowledgeable, and No-Nonsense Attorney

I hired Mr. Wolf to represent me in my efforts to obtain a permanent civil protection order against the person who committed a crime against me. This person is currently incarcerated for the crime but is being considered for parole. Due to Mr. Wolf’s criminal law background, and his outstanding attorney ratings, I believed him to be the best legal professional to successfully represent my safety and security concerns in court. I was not wrong!!

Mr. Wolf expertly and succinctly prepared the protection order paperwork on my behalf, prepared me for my court appearance in a direct and as complete a manner as possible, and successfully represented me in court. He also expressed sincere kindness towards me from the day I hired him to the conclusion of my case. Another attorney without a criminal law background may have been able to have successfully obtained a permanent civil protection order on my behalf; however, I was unwilling to take that chance given the criminal background of my case. I will be forever grateful to Mr. Wolf for his successful representation of me, and for making my safety and security one of his top priorities.

— Teresa M

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Mr. Wolf was recommended to me through my cousin. I was facing a very serious legal matter and Mr. Wolf was amazing. He explained everything to me in detail. He listened to my questions and was very helpful. I am so thankful that he was my lawyer.

— Amy K

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Jeffrey Wolf was very professional, helped me feel better through an extremely scary process, and the serious case reached a favorable outcome. Highly recommend.

— JT

Highly Recommend Wolf Law for DUI Cases

I hired Jeff Wolf to represent me for a DUI and accident involving damages. While I knew I was 100 percent in the wrong, Jeff never once made me feel like a terrible person for making a mistake. He quickly responded to emails and always called me back quickly when I had questions (I had a lot of questions). I’ve never been in trouble with the law before, and Jeff was patient in explaining everything thoroughly to me throughout the entire process, and was also able to get my sentence reduced. I recommend him to anyone going through a similar situation.

— Emily

Would Have Been Lost Without Wolf Law

I was charged with my first DUI and was referred to Jeff by a friend of mine. He gave me a realistic expectation of what would happen and is an expert at navigating the process. Jeff is always incredibly quick to respond and is very knowledgeable. He is professional and represented me well in the courtroom. The experience of being charged with a DUI is a terrible, humiliating and challenging event – having an experienced attorney was priceless!

— Anonymous

My Son Was in Trouble, Jeff Wolf was His Advocate

When my son got in trouble, I was referred to Jeff Wolf by a friend. He was immediately responsive, calling me back within an hour. We set up a meeting for a couple of days later with no obligation, and when we met he helped us understand the many aspects of my son’s case. We retained him and were grateful for his obvious comfort with the legal system and ability to help us navigate it. Throughout, he advocated for my son but also was stern with him, very clearly communicating the severity of his situation. We ended up with a deferred sentence and are so glad we had Mr. Wolf’s help. He is very reliable and accessible; it was reassuring to know we had him in our court.

— Lisa

Much Appreciation!

After a misread medical record, I was wrongly accused of a serious crime. Even though doctors admitted that the nurse misstated the severity of an injury, law enforcement tried to destroy my life. Law enforcement threatened to take away my wife, my kids and my life. I called around to a couple of attorneys, and no one offered the type of first-class customer service that Jeff provided. He was immediately available. Throughout the process, Jeff was there to guide and protect me. He was always available. And, after a long journey together, we found justice and freedom. During the process, I found Jeff to be intelligent, determined and highly personable. I strongly recommend Jeff!

— Anonymous

Wolf Law and Colleen Kelley are Great

Had the chance to work with Colleen Kelley and found her not only to be a great attorney, but also someone who will fight for you! Highly recommend her…

— Tom S.

Professional and Knowledgeable

I cannot be happier with Jeffrey Wolf’s representation in my court case. He was very direct, no time wasted. Very professional, and above all very knowledgeable and qualified as an attorney. I was facing felony charges that were unfounded and Mr. Wolf saw the truth immediately, believed in me despite the allegations and got all charges dismissed. He always kept me informed and current with his progress, and offered very sound advice. I also would consider him a friend as well. I highly recommend Mr. Wolf to anyone needing serious legal counsel.

— Bill F.