Forgery & Uttering False Documents

Forgery and Making or Uttering a False or Forged Document are charges under the Criminal Code of Canada.  These charges are often laid in relation to financial statements, credit and mortgage applications, income tax returns, and government documents.  The possible penalties for a conviction for Forgery and other Fraud-related offences can include imprisonment for up to ten years.  For individuals who are non-citizens of Canada, a conviction for Forgery or Uttering Forged Documents and related offences can also result in your removal and deportation.

We have helped hundreds of first-time defendants, professionals, students, and families work their way through the challenges of the justice system, and we make ourselves available for consultations 24 hours a dayfree of charge to people charged in Vancouver, Richmond, Surrey, and throughout British Columbia.

What are some recent Forgery and Uttering Forged Documents cases you’ve defended?

R. v. S.H. [2015] – Clients, two university-age students with prior arrest history in the justice system are charged with Fraud Under $5000, Credit Card Fraud, and Uttering Forged Documents following allegations of multiple month shopping-spree throughout British Columbia involving stolen credit cards.  Government alleges clients conducted over 30 fraudulent transactions, with several thousand dollars in losses.  Following six-month negotiation period with the Crown, the judge accepts a joint recommendation for a Conditional Discharge with no criminal record–  CONDITIONAL DISCHARGE and NO CRIMINAL RECORD

R. v. M.B. [2013] – Client charged with Fraud Over $5000 and Uttering Forged Documents related to a Breach of Trust at the workplace involving the submission of false invoices over a 4 year period. Total losses to company and insurance exceed $350,000. No restitution is made. Prosecutor requested 3 to 5 year penitentiary sentence. Following several days of sentencing submissions, client gets house arrest and is able to keep his current job. Case noted in national legal sentencing journal – CONDITIONAL SENTENCE and NO PRISON

R. v. B.D. [2011] - Client accused of presenting forged pay stubs, T4 slips, and income history to charter bank in an effort to obtain a mortgage on a property in excess of $250,000.  Police charged Client with Fraud Over $5000 and several counts of Uttering Forged Documents.  Upon arrest, Client made several statements and admissions to the police.  Police investigation alleged that pay stubs from non-existent companies were created by my Client and submitted to the bank in order to facilitate the securing of financing.  Crown proceeded by indictment and Client faced possibility of several years of prison time.  Following extensive discussions with the prosecutor, all charges were withdrawn at the request of the Crown.  CHARGES WITHDRAWN - NO CRIMINAL RECORD

R. v. J.G. [2011] - University student Client accused of forging prescriptions at several pharmacies for the purpose of obtaining narcotics.  Client was charged with several counts of Uttering Forged Documents.  After meeting with the prosecutor and presenting a comprehensive summary of my Client’s medical history, arrangements were made to have the Client enter and complete an out-patient counseling and rehabilitation program.  Upon showing proof of completion to the prosecutor, all charges were withdrawn at the request of the Crown.  CHARGES WITHDRAWN - NO CRIMINAL RECORD

R. v. S.P. [2010] – Client charged with Uttering Forged Documents and Forgery following extensive several year police investigation.  Police alleged that  Client used a false identity and forged documents to file a false refugee claim.  After the refugee claim was approved, Client alleged to have subsequently obtained benefits from the government.  Following discussions with a senior prosecutor, Client agrees to pay a $500 fine.  FINE and NO JAIL

R. v. M.E. [2010] – Client charged with several fraud related counts for allegedly presenting falsified documentation including forged pay stubs, letters of employment, and tax return filings in an attempt to secure a several thousand dollar tax refund.  Client was arrested at the scene and charged with Attempted Fraud Over $5000, Uttering Forged Documents, and Forgery.  In the disclosure video surveillance was provided.  Crown proceeded by Indictment, and Client faced possibility of several years imprisonment – CHARGES WITHDRAWN - NO CRIMINAL RECORD

What is the maximum possible penalty for Forgery in British Columbia?

367. Every one who commits forgery

  • (a) is guilty of an indictable offence and liable to imprisonment for a term not exceeding ten years; or

  • (b) is guilty of an offence punishable on summary conviction.

368. (1) Everyone commits an offence who, knowing or believing that a document is forged,

  • (a) uses, deals with or acts on it as if it were genuine;

  • (b) causes or attempts to cause any person to use, deal with or act on it as if it were genuine;

  • (c) transfers, sells or offers to sell it or makes it available, to any person, knowing that or being reckless as to whether an offence will be committed under paragraph (a) or (b); or

  • (d) possesses it with intent to commit an offence under any of paragraphs (a) to (c).

(1.1) Everyone who commits an offence under subsection (1)

  • (a) is guilty of an indictable offence and liable to imprisonment for a term of not more than 10 years; or

  • (b) is guilty of an offence punishable on summary conviction.

How long does a Forgery or Uttering Forged Documents case usually take?

The average criminal case in Canada lasts over 100 days.  Given the complexity of forgery cases, many can take upwards of several years should the defendant choose to have a preliminary inquiry or a trial, or should the charges they are facing be particularly serious and dependant on the use of a significant amount of documentary evidence.