I was just editing when your message came through. Here's the Georgia Forgery statute -- forgery in the first degree
. This is what I mean by this crime being an intent crime. First of all, in order to convict you of the forgery you must have the intent to defraud. You didn't do that. You weren't hiding anything from your wife or stealing from her. You were the family bill payer, a contributor to the account, and doing this with her knowledge and authority.
That brings me to the second portion of the text which I've underlined for you. With the authority to sign someone else's name
, this is not a crime.
Georgia Code - Crimes and Offenses - Title 16, Section 16-9-1
(a) A person commits the offense of forgery in the first degree when with intent to defraud
he knowingly makes, alters, or possesses any writing in a fictitious name or in such manner that the writing as made or altered purports to have been made by another person, at another time, with different provisions, or by authority of one who did not give such authority and utters or delivers such writing
(b) A person convicted of the offense of forgery in the first degree shall be punished by imprisonment for not less than one nor more than ten years.
You don't need case law. The state has to make out every element of its case and prove it beyond a reasonable doubt in order to convict you of these charges. Without your wife, it will be impossible. Even if your wife changes her mind, you have witnesses who know that she knows that no crime occurred here. No trial, if it comes to that, is a slam dunk, but yours has got a lot that favors you here.
Edited by FranL on 9/3/2010 at 3:01 AM EST