Rhode Island Forgery Defense Lawyer

The Law Offices of Michael J. Zarrella

What is Forgery in Rhode Island?

Forgery is a serious crime under Rhode Island law. The general crime of forgery under Rhode Island law is a felony that is punished with a sentence of up to ten years at the ACI. Forgery normally requires the making, altering, use, or possession of a false instrument in order to commit fraud. The crime and penalties may differ based on the amount and the type of instrument being altered. For instance, the forgery and counterfeiting of registration plates is only a misddemeanor and carries a maximum of one year in jail. While the forgery of a check is a felony that carries 2 years to 10 years at the ACI. Whatever the charge, it is important to hire a defense lawyer that has the experience in Rhode Island criminal defense to help you though this trying time. The Law Offices of Michael J. Zarrella has been helping those accused of crimes in Rhode Island for 20 years.

Rhode Island criminal defenses in forgery cases

Forgery is one of the last crimes you want to have on your criminal record. A person's record that is blemished with a forgery conviction will find it very difficult to get employment and or raises. Furthermore, even your reputation for honesty in the community will suffer if you are convicted of forgery. That is why criminal defense Michael J. Zarrella lawyer will work tirelessly to help prevent you from getting a forgery conviction. He is familiar with the in's and out's of criminal law; he has been helping defendants get their charges dismissed or reduced to lesser charges for 20 years. Not everyone charged with a crimie is guilty and not everyone deserves a conviction just because they have been arrested. Attorney Michael J. Zarrella knows the defenses to the charge of forgery and he has tried and won numerous felonies. Attorney Michael J. Zarrella will fight for a dismissal of the charge, if a dismissel is unavailable then he will fight for a favorable plea bargain in which the charges may be reduced to lesser charges or the sentence does not trigger a criminal conviction.

Common forgery crimes in Rhode Island

The are numerous ways to be charged with committing forgery under the Rhode Island law, but some of the more common charges are as follows:

  • Signing someone else's name to a check;
  • Altering the amount on a check;
  • Changing or falsifying any legal document, ie. will, deed or contract;
  • Making fake currency;
  • Writing a fake prescription; and/ or
  • Using someone else's credit card.

These are just a few of the many different types of forgery crimes that a person can be charged with.

Like and other crimes under the law, the state has the legal obligation to prove the crime beyond a reasonable doubt. Forgery cases are often not easy to prove. Additionally, there are many defenses to forgery cases. The state often has to prove intent with these cases. Just because a person might be in possesion of a counterfeit bill does not mean he or she was in possession of it knowingly. Often people who are in possession of counterfeit bills had no idea that the bill was counterfeit. The state not only has to prove the person had the bill, but also has to prove the person was knowingly in possession of the bill. Many times a good criminal defense lawyer can agrue that there was no knowledge of the crime, therefore leading to a dismissal or not guilty after trial.

Penalties for a Rhode Island Forgery Charges


 11-17-1  Forgery and counterfeiting in general.

  • Up to ten years at the ACI
  • A fine up to $1000

 11-17-1.1  Forgery – Public assistance check or authorization.

If the amount exceeds $500 in a 12 mount period-felony

  • Up to ten years at the ACI/jail
  • A fine up to $1000

If the amount is under $500-misdemeanor

  • Up to one year at the ACI
  • A fine up to $500

11-17-1.2 Forgery and counterfeiting of registration plates.

  • Up to one year at the ACI
  • A fine up to $500

11-17-2 Forgery, Counterfeiting, or alteration of state debt certificate or bank bill or note

  • Up to ten (10) years not less than two (2) years at the ACI

11-17-3 Passing of counterfeit certificates, bills or notes

  • Up to ten (10) years not less than two (2) years at the ACI

11-17-4 Importation or possession of counterfeit certificate, bill or note

  • Up to ten (10) years not less than two (2) years at the ACI

Don't take a chance with your future! Hire an experienced Rhode Island forgery defense attorney! The consquences of a conviction of a forgery crime are severe. A conviction of a forgery crime will have a severe impact on your freedom, finances and reputation in the community. Make the right choice to do everything to make your future a bright one! Make sure you hire Attorney Michael J. Zarrella to begin working on you defense and insuring you have the best chance of a bright future!

Rhode Island Forgery Defense Lawyer Michael J. Zarrella

Call 401-523-5271 or 401-490-6820 to speak with Attorney Michael J. Zarrella concerning your charges of forgery in Rhode Island. Attorney Zarrella will assist you with understanding your charges and the defenses available to you whether you face a felony or misdemeanor forgery charge. Michael Zarrella, Esq. will help you to find a solution to your criminal forgery charge that will be in your best interests and protect your future! Call Michael Zarrella today!