What does Missouri law say about forgery?

To try to illegally acquire medicine from a pharmacy, a criminal may produce a prescription with a doctor’s signature. The problem is that the signature is not real. The fraudster had actually copied the signature onto the prescription paper. This is a classic example of forgery. 

Forgery comes in many different types and may differ across various states. It could help you to understand what makes forgery a crime in Missouri so you may avoid any appearance of committing it. 

Defining forgery

According to Missouri law, forgery involves activities intended to misrepresent a work’s origin for fraudulent gain. As previously mentioned, some fraudsters who try to acquire medicine may forge a doctor’s signature. Criminals may forge other methods of identification, like numbers or descriptions of authentication. A person could also commit forgery by adding to incomplete writing to misidentify a work or document. 

Destroying identifying information

Sometimes a person commits forgery by taking away information. Missouri law enforcement could suspect you of forgery if you erase or otherwise destroy any kind of writing or notice that identifies a work as a reproduction and then pass off the copy as authentic. Such examples can involve taking off a product code or a number that would allow someone to verify the identity of the work. 

Using or intending to use forged works

Another way to run afoul of state forgery laws is to give a forged work to someone else knowing that the person will use the work believing it to be genuine. It is also possible for a prosecutor to charge you if you possess a forged work and had intended to use it as if it was real. 

Forgery is a Class D felony under Missouri law, so fighting forgery charges is important to avoid jail time and stiff fines. Factors such as whether you had any intention to defraud another are likely to be important if you become involved in a forgery case.