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Bail Bond for Felony Forgery PC 470

Posted on Jun 11th, 2024 by Super User 277 Views

You commit a crime of forgery by fraudulently altering, creating, or possessing false documents with the intention to defraud another person. The prosecution will file a felony charge against you if the amount you defrauded or intended to defraud is $950 or more.

After facing an arrest and charges for felony forgery, you remain in detention until the judge determines your case. The anticipation of the case outcome can take a toll on you. Fortunately, by posting bail, you can secure a release from jail while your criminal case is pending. Bail acts as an assurance of your return for scheduled court proceedings.

California sets bail amounts depending on the severity and circumstances of your case. Therefore, a high bail amount may be attached to your felony forgery charge, making it challenging for you and your family to post a cash bail. Here, you could seek the services of a bail bonds company. The service ensures you receive the financial assistance you need to secure your freedom.

Overview of Felony Forgery in California

California Penal Code 470 makes it a crime to alter or falsify a legal document with the intent to defraud another person or company. Forgery is a wobbler. This means that the prosecution can file a felony or misdemeanor charge against you, depending on the circumstances of your case.

You will be charged with a felony if you intend to defraud money or property worth $950 or more. Additionally, you could face these charges if you are a repeat offender or face multiple counts of misdemeanor forgery.

Forgery charges arise when you engage in the following acts:

Signing Another Person’s Name on a Legal Document

Signing another person’s name on a legal document without their consent violates CPC 470(a). The prosecutor must establish that:

  • You signed another person’s name on a legal document.
  • You lacked consent from the owner to do so.
  • You knew or should have known that you were not allowed to engage in the act.

A legal document, in this case, is any document that allows or authorizes the transfer of money or property.

Faking a Handwriting or Seal

You could be charged with felony forgery under PC 470(b) if you fake another person’s handwriting or a seal with fraudulent intent. In this case, the prosecution must establish that you created a document and used fake handwriting or seals to obtain undeserved benefits.

Falsifying a Legal Document

Under California PC 470(c), you will be charged with forgery for falsifying a legal document or presenting it as authentic. In this case, legal documents could include property deeds, court judgments, wills, or powers of attorney.

Before you face a conviction under this section of PC 470, the prosecution must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that you altered a legal document or tried to counterfeit it and present it as authentic.

Altering or Falsifying Financial Documents

Another reason you could be arrested and charged with felony forgery is by altering or falsifying financial documents like contracts, stock certificates, money orders, or bonds.

You Acted With a Fraudulent Intent

A critical element of your forgery charge is your intention when falsifying, faking, or counterfeiting the documents. The prosecution will establish your liability and secure a conviction under PC 470 if they can prove that you acted with an intent to defraud another individual. This means you intended to deceive another person or a company about their money or property.

The prosecution team will rely on physical evidence, circumstantial evidence, and witness testimony to ascertain your intentions. If you have a prior conviction or charge for forgery or a related offense, the prosecution can use it to strengthen their case.

Penalties for Felony Forgery

A California Penal Code 470 violation is a wobbler. The prosecution could file a misdemeanor or felony charge against you. You will be charged with felony forgery under the following circumstances:

Type of Forgery You Committed

Forgery charges arise due to different actions aimed at defrauding money or property. The exact circumstances of your act could impact the prosecutor's charge. If your acts significantly impact the victims, the prosecuting attorney will file a felony charge against you.

Your Criminal Record

The law is strict on individuals who repeatedly engage in criminal acts. Therefore, the prosecuting attorney will examine your criminal record before filing your forgery charge. If you have multiple prior convictions for forgery or another fraud crime, you will face a felony charge. Being a repeat offender indicates a disregard for the law and an inability to rehabilitate. Therefore, filing a felony charge against you attracts maximum punishment for your offense.

The Amount You Intended to Defraud

An intent to defraud the alleged victim is a critical element that the prosecution must prove to establish your liability under PC 470. The amount you intend to defraud by making or signing false documents may significantly determine how your offense will be charged. You will face a felony charge if you intend to defraud or defraud money or property worth up to $950.

Number of Victims

Sometimes, forgery attracts a misdemeanor charge, especially when you do not have an extensive criminal history or intend to defraud a small amount of money. However, if there are multiple victims of your actions, the prosecution can file a felony charge against you.

A felony conviction under this statute results in a sentence of 16 months to 3 years and fines not exceeding $10,000. Sometimes, the court could impose formal probation instead of imprisonment, which allows you to spend a part of your sentence on community service.

Not all defendants facing felony charges are eligible for probation. Your attorney must negotiate this sentence with the prosecution. While on probation for felony forgery, the court could issue terms and conditions that you must follow. Felony probation lasts for a maximum of five years and could have these conditions:

  • Victim restitution
  • Avoid committing additional offenses.
  • Engage in community service.

Besides incarceration, fines, and probation, a forgery conviction can have devastating effects if you are an immigrant in the United States. Felony forgery is a crime of moral turpitude. Therefore, you could face deportation or inadmissibility after your conviction.

Deportation means you will be forcibly removed from the country by Immigration and Customs Enforcement. Inadmissibility means you cannot return to the country once you leave.

Victim Restitution

While forgery does not involve physical violence or harm, the crime can cause severe financial losses and distress to the victims. Therefore, after your conviction, the judge can order that you reimburse the victims for the losses you caused them.

Additional Consequences of a PC 470 Conviction

A felony conviction for forgery will enter your criminal record and impact multiple aspects of your life. Criminal convictions in California are public records. Therefore, individuals who perform a background check on you could find the conviction. This can ruin your reputation and chances at meaningful employment.

Some additional consequences that a PC 470 conviction can have on your life include:

Difficulty Finding Employment

Many employers will check your criminal history before hiring you for a new position. Having a felony forgery conviction on your record may portray you as an untrustworthy individual, making it challenging to obtain employment. You could lose your job if you were already employed before the conviction.

Impact on Your Professional License

If you work in a profession where a practice license is necessary, your licensing board will be notified of the conviction. This can lead to severe disciplinary action, including suspending or revoking your practice license. Losing your professional license could impact your career and livelihood.

Ruined Reputation

Being a convicted felon could change how society views and interacts with you. Therefore, a conviction for felony forgery can cause unnecessary stigma. 

Defenses Against Felony Forgery Charges

Facing a forgery conviction could have a devastating effect on your freedom and future. Therefore, you must be aggressive to fight the charges and ensure a favorable outcome. Common arguments you can present against your case include the following:

Documents Lack Legal Significance

You commit a crime of forgery when you falsify or alter documents with legal significance. Often, this occurs when you attempt to use the documents to obtain money or property from another person fraudulently. If the document you falsified could not be passed as authentic or cause you to receive benefits, you cannot be convicted of forgery.

For example, if you copy another person’s autograph to brag to friends and you do not receive any monetary gain from it, you can use this as a defense in your case.

False Allegations

Many forgery cases are the result of false allegations. You may be falsely accused by a person with whom you have a strained relationship or through a mistake of fact. If you had nothing to do with the forgery acts, your attorney can uncover the false allegations scheme to ensure you avoid a conviction.

Lack of Fraudulent Intent

Your intention to defraud another person or receive undeserving financial gain is critical to securing a conviction for felony forgery. Proving an intent to defraud can be challenging for the prosecutor.

You can avoid a conviction under PC 470 if there is no evidence of your intent to defraud the victim. This could occur when you mistakenly assume you have a right to alter a particular document. With the insight of a competent criminal lawyer, you can use this defense for an acquittal or dismissal of your case.

Coerced Confessions

Sometimes, law enforcement officials are pressured to secure an arrest and hold someone accountable for the crime. If there is evidence that points towards you, they can use intimidation and threats to force you to confess to the crime.

If your felony forgery charge is built on a coerced confession, your attorney can file a motion to suppress the evidence collected through coerced confessions.

Statute of Limitations

The statute of limitations in California is the time limit. The prosecution can file criminal charges against you after the offense has occurred. The statute of limitation for felony forgery is four years. Therefore, if the prosecution files charges against you after four years, you can argue that the statute of limitations has elapsed and avoid the charges.

Posting a Bail Bond for Felony Forgery

If you are arrested and charged with felony forgery, remaining in jail while your case continues would do you more harm than good. Fortunately, you can secure a release from a pending case by posting bail. The court considers the severity of your underlying offenses a significant factor when setting bail in California.

The court can set a high bail amount for you if you are charged with felony forgery. Since arrests are unexpected, you may be unable to raise the high amounts required for a cash bail. For most defendants, seeking a bail bond is the cheapest and most convenient way to secure a release pending trial.

Seeking a bail bond involves contacting a surety company for their assistance. The surety company might send a bail bondsman to assess your situation and determine your eligibility for a bail bond. This is often done by assessing your flight risk and the co-signer's ability to pay for the bail bond.

If you are eligible for the bail bond, your co-signer will enter into a bail bond agreement with the surety company. The role of the co-signer will be to cover the financial obligations of the bail bond and to ensure that you return to court for your felony forgery case proceedings.

The bail bondsman will go to court and post your total bail amount. In exchange for their services, you will pay a fee of 10% of the total bail amount, which is non-refundable. In addition to the premium fee, the surety company may mandate that collateral be provided.

The purpose of collateral is to guarantee the bail bond and ensure the company does not lose money in a forfeiture.

Benefits of Hiring a Bail Bonds Company

There are numerous benefits to hiring a bail bond company to help you secure a bail release, including:

Saves you Money

California courts set bail amounts depending on the severity of the underlying criminal charges. With a felony forgery charge, the court may set your bail at thousands of dollars, which may be unaffordable.

This could put stress on you and your family by watching a loved one sit behind bars for lack of bail money. By posting a bail bond, you will only be responsible for 10% of the total bail amount, which acts as the premium for bail bond services.

Faster Release from Jail

Bail bond companies often have money ready to post bail for their clients. Therefore, your loved one will not have to wait for days in jail for the bail money. Securing a fast release from jail allows you to return to work and earn a livelihood. While out of jail on bail, you can hire and meet with your criminal defense lawyer to discuss your case.

Additionally, you can spend time with family and friends who will offer the support you need while you battle your charges.

Avoid Losing Assets

When the bail amount is high, you and your family may be tempted to liquidate assets for bail. Unfortunately, selling assets in haste could cause you to sell them at an amount lower than the market value. When you seek bail bond services, the surety company will provide full financial support to secure a release. Therefore, liquidating your assets will not be necessary, and you can keep them.

You Receive Expert Guidance

Facing charges for felony forgery can take a toll on you, which makes the bail process challenging. A bail bondsman's role goes beyond providing the financial support you need for bail. Therefore, they will offer expert guidance to ensure the bail process is less stressful. This allows you to focus on seeking legal guidance and planning for your defense.

Find Expert Bail Bond Services Near Me

You are arrested and charged with felony forgery in California when you alter, create, or possess false documentation for fraudulent intent. Forgery is a serious offense charged under California Penal Code 470. After your arrest, you are detained in jail while you wait for trial and other court proceedings.

Sitting behind bars can cause emotional and psychological distress. Additionally, you could lose your job for missing work on the days you are detained. California bail laws allow defendants facing misdemeanor and felony charges to secure a bail release. This is done by paying the court a particular amount in exchange for a release on a pending case.

This allows you to receive support from family and return to work. California sets high bail amounts for felony charges. Therefore, raising a cash bail may be challenging for many defendants. At Justice Bail Bonds, we provide top-notch bail bond services for all our clients in Temecula, CA. Contact us at 714-541-1155 to discuss your bail needs.

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For faster service please call 951-445-4155 24 hours a day, seven days a week if you or a loved one has been arrested and need to be bailed out quickly and confidentially or if you simply have questions regarding bail, an arrest, or inmate information please do not hesitate to call or fill out our contact us form. We are available 24/7 for all of your bail needs. 

For faster service please call 951-445-4155 24 hours a day, seven days a week if you or a loved one has been arrested and need to be bailed out quickly and confidentially or if you simply have questions regarding bail, an arrest, or inmate information please do not hesitate to call or fill out our contact us form. We are available 24/7 for all of your bail needs.