The offense of forgery is set out in 720 ILCS 5/17-3. It provides that, if each of the following elements is proved by the State's Attorney beyond a reasonable doubt, that a person is guilty of forgery:

  • With the intent to defraud - Someone must act knowingly with the purpose of defrauding another;


  • Makes a false document or alters any true document in order to make it false; OR
  • Delivers a false document knowing it is false; OR
  • Possessing a false document, intending to transfer it, knowing that it is false; OR
  • Possessing the electronic signature of another; OR
  • Using the electronic signature of another.

As with many other felony offenses, the consequences of a conviction can be severe. Generally speaking, forgery is filed as either a class 3 or class 4 felony and jail, or even prison, time is possible. However, there are alternatives and an experienced attorney will know how to get the charges dismissed, if possible, or how to minimize the impact through plea negotiations.

In the majority of situations, the key component is often the element of intent. This can be proven by statements made to police or investigators, facts surrounding the transaction, or by a variety of other circumstantial evidence. The most important thing to remember early on in the process is not to speak without an attorney present. 


When you or someone you care about is facing forgery charges, a whirlwind of confusion begins to take over. The police act quickly in investigating the case and the State's Attorney eventually starts to chime in and approve felony enhancements. Throughout all the chaos that is created, remember that you have the right to an attorney. By choosing an attorney who has been through this process many times, you will be arming yourself with someone to guide you along the way. 

White collar crimes are unique when compared to many others. Preparing a murder trial looks like how you probably imagine it: photos of bodies, toxicology reports. With white collar crimes, the scene looks more like what you'd see in an accounting firm: stacks of cancelled checks and logs of transactions. Due to the complex nature of these crimes, an attorney who has a track record of success is your best bet. 


Allegations of forgery can follow a person for the rest of their lives. Due to the nature of the charges, a person can lose their current job, lose future employment opportunities, and be denied the right to own a firearm. 

Facing forgery charges? Call or email to schedule a free consultation.