Article 123 Forgery

If you are a military member who has been accused of forgery, it is important to know exactly what this charge is and what it could mean for you and your career.

Forgery Defined by the UCMJ

According to Article 123 of the Uniform Code of Military Justice, a service member could be charged with forgery if he or she attempted to defraud another by means of forgery or if he passed on, or used a forged document. While there are several various elements and circumstances that could constitute forgery, the assumption is that the service member’s act of forgery caused someone to undertake a liability which was not his or hers, or caused the loss of a right that the victim was entitled to.

It is important to note that intent to deceive is not the same as intent to defraud. If your attorney can establish that your intent was to deceive but that you did not intend to cause a loss of some kind to the victim, or a gain of some kind to yourself, then you might not be in violation of this article.

There are two separate situations that are covered under Article 123 of the UCMJ involving the charge of forgery, and each have several elements that make up the charge, including:

1.) Altering or creating a forged document with intent to cause a loss to the victim or a gain to oneself.

  • At a specific place and time, the accused created or altered a specific signature that appeared on a written document or check.
  • The check or document (if taken as genuine) would impose a liability on another or change the victim’s right or duty in a manner that is unfavorable.
  • The accused carried out the act of forgery with the intent to defraud.

2.) Uttering

  • A specific signature that was written on a document or check was falsely altered or affixed in a specific manner.
  • The check or document (if taken as genuine) would impose a liability on another or change the victim’s right or duty in a manner that is unfavorable.
  • When then military member committed this act, he or she was aware that the check or document had been forged.
  • The accused’s act of uttering, issuing, offering or transferring was carried out with the intent to defraud.

Possible Consequences of a Forgery Conviction

If convicted of forgery, accused Service Member could face serious punishments including dishonorable discharge, five years of confinement, and forfeiture of all allowances and pay.

How We Can Help

Attorney Garrison Wood specializes in military defense law and knows how to fight back against charges relating to the UCMJ.

If you have been charged with forgery, you will want to act quickly in order to give your case the best fighting chance. Learn more about how we can help and discuss your case and options by calling us for a free consultation.

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