Forgery also known as uttering a false instrument is a serious offense, punishable as a felony in all thirty six states and by the federal government. Forgery involves the making, altering, use, or possession of a false writing in order to commit a fraud. It can occur in many forms, from signing another person’s name on a check to falsifying one’s own academic transcript.
Forgery is considered a felony in all thirty six states, and is punishable by a range of penalties including jail or prison time, significant fines, probation, and restitution (compensating the victim for money or goods stolen as a result of the forgery). Some states, however, consider certain types of forgery misdemeanor offenses only, which are punished more leniently than felony offenses with a maximum incarceration period of one year in most states.