Forgery and Fraudulent Practices
Similar to theft, the crimes of fraud and forgery generally involve obtaining access to or taking possession of someone else’s property through unlawful means. Also similar to theft, Pennsylvania law establishes a variety of fraud and forgery-related offenses, many of which carry the potential for substantial fines and serious jail time.
Attorney Randall McKinney has a proven track record of successfully defending clients charged with forgery and fraud crimes in the Pittsburgh area. If you have been arrested or charged with a crime, seeking experienced legal representation is the key to avoiding a life-altering sentence. If you are facing fines and jail time, Attorney McKinney can help you. To get started, call or click for a free consultation.
Aggressive Defense Representation for Forgery and Fraud Charges in Pittsburgh
Attorney McKinney represents individuals and organizations charged with all types of forgery and fraud offenses under Pennsylvania law. This includes (but is not limited to) the offenses of:
The crime of forgery involves altering documents, creating false documents and “uttering” falsified documents (i.e. representing them as valid) with the intent to defraud. Depending upon the specific circumstances involved, forgery can be prosecuted as a first-degree misdemeanor, third-degree felony or second-degree felony.
Access Device Fraud
Access device fraud is a crime that involves using a credit card, debit card, ATM card, account number or other “means of account access” in order to gain unauthorized access to property. Access device fraud can be charged as a third-degree misdemeanor, second-degree misdemeanor, first-degree misdemeanor or third-degree felony, and each “access device” involved can lead to an additional charge.
Pennsylvania’s insurance fraud statute outlines nine separate offenses that can either be charged as first-degree misdemeanors or third-degree felonies. Examples include (but are not limited to) submitting false information to the government in relation to an auto insurance rate filing, submitting false information in support of a property insurance claim, and using someone else’s insurance card.
Pennsylvania law defines identity theft as, “possess[ing] or us[ing], through any means, identifying information of another person without the consent of that other person to further any unlawful purpose.” Each individual use of someone else’s identify is a separate criminal offense, and identity theft is minimally a first-degree misdemeanor in Pennsylvania.
Penalties for Forgery and Fraudulent Practices
In most cases, the grading of a forgery or fraud charge will depend on the value of the property involved. Depending on the value at play, all of the forgery and fraud offenses discussed above can potentially be charged as felonies under Pennsylvania law. Potential penalties for the varying grades of forgery and fraud offenses include:
- Third-Degree Misdemeanor – One year of incarceration and a $2,500 fine
- Second-Degree Misdemeanor – Two years of incarceration and a $5,000 fine
- First-Degree Misdemeanor – Five years of incarceration and a $10,000 fine
- Third-Degree Felony – Seven years of imprisonment and a $15,000 fine
- Second-Degree Felony – 10 years of imprisonment and a $25,000 fine
Speak with Attorney McKinney about Your Case for Free
If you need a criminal defense attorney in Pittsburgh, contact our offenses to schedule a free and confidential case assessment. To speak with defense attorney Randall McKinney as soon as possible, call (412) 520-3301 or submit your case online now.