Forgery in the state of Texas falls under the category of theft. It is also a form of fraud. Someone who commits forgery with the intent to deceive could be charged with fraud or theft, but the intent to deceive is an important component of the charge in most jurisdictions.
Forgery is the imitation of a signature, an object of value or a document, but not all such imitations are considered forgery. If someone makes a copy of a work of art or other document but does not do this with any deceptive intent, this would not be considered an act of forgery in most circumstances. A person can sell copies of an artist’s paintings, for example, and this is not forgery as long as they sell them as copies or replicas and do not claim that they are original works.
Forgery often involves someone signing someone else’s signature, with the most common form of forgery being someone signing another person’s name on a check. Many legal documents can be forged, including diplomas, contracts, identification cards and licenses. Physical objects can also be forged. When currency is forged, the term counterfeiting is usually used. This also applies to the forging of consumer goods.
Theft charges can be either misdemeanors or felonies, depending upon the circumstances. Theft laws cover a wide range of acts, all involving the misappropriation of someone else’s property. Even when a theft charge is a misdemeanor, it reflects negatively on the character of the person who is charged. Shoplifting, for example, is a misdemeanor, but it can have lifelong consequences. A misdemeanor also remains on someone’s criminal record for life or creates a criminal record if it is a first criminal conviction. As a result, a person who has been charged with theft may want to have the assistance of a criminal defense attorney in fighting the allegations.