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Zoey_ JD
Zoey_ JD, JustAnswer Criminal Law Mentor
Category: Criminal Law
Satisfied Customers: 23179
Experience:  Admitted to NYS Criminal defense bar in 1989. Extensive arraignment, hearing, trial experience.
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I just recently learned my ex wife forged my signature.. It

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I just recently learned my ex wife forged my signature.. It was on a home owners insurance refund check from state farm. It read mccarty steven & elisabeth m for the amount of $342.46.. I obtained a copy from state farm showing both sides of the check.. What can I do and what kind of punishment would this be for her in Alabama?
Submitted: 4 years ago.
Category: Criminal Law
Expert:  Zoey_ JD replied 4 years ago.
Hello Jacustomer,

You should go to the police with the copy of the forged check and report the forgery. Tell them that you want your ex prosecuted if that's what you want. If the prosecutor takes the matter on and files charges, upon plea or conviction, she'd be told to make restitution for any amount of money taken from you unlawfully.

You could sue her civilly too, except that it would cost far more for the legal expenses than you stand to gain here. But you could take her to small claims court, where you would need no lawyer, and potentially get a judgment in your favor.

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Customer: replied 4 years ago.
What does the term defraud mean ( in dummy terms ) as ive searched the internet on alabama law could this be a class c felony being the amount of the check is greater than 200 but less than 1000..
Expert:  Zoey_ JD replied 4 years ago.
Hi Jacustomer,

Forgery in is an intent crime. That is, it requires that there be an "intent to defraud" when the person signed your signature.

In section 13A-9-1(8) Alabama defines "Intent to defraud" as this:

(8) INTENT TO DEFRAUD. A purpose to use deception, as defined in Section 13A-8-1(1), or to injure another person's interest which has value, as defined in Section 13A-8-1(14).

She would have to sign the check deliberately intending to gain something from the deception that she would not otherwise be entitled to or to deliberately deprive you of something that you were entitled to. In dummy terms, if she forged your name deliberately to screw you out of some portion of this money that you were entitled to that is fraud.

This looks like forgery in the second degree, which is a C felony in Alabama
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