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Brandon M.
Brandon M., Counselor at Law
Category: Criminal Law
Satisfied Customers: 12620
Experience:  Attorney
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I have a question regarding a check that requires two signatures.

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I have a question regarding a check that requires two signatures. My situation is is that my bank wants me to have my father sign the second name, but he lives 2,000 miles away and banks at a different bank. However, I asked him to sign it if I mail it to him and he just told me to sign his name and said it wouldn't matter because he can vouch for me. I know if I do this it is technically forgery, however, I was given permission, the check is real, untampered with and I am the primary account holder. Do I face serious penalties for this? And is it worth the risk of depositing it into my checking account? It's a fairly large amount in excess of $5,000. Thank you for your help in this matter.
Hello, my name is Brandon. The crime of forgery requires not only a false writing, but also an intent to defraud--so just putting a false signature on a document does not itself constitute the crime of forgery. If the "victim" of a forged check gave their consent to have their signature duplicated on their behalf, who would be defrauded?

The nuances of every situation is different, so this information should not be relied upon as complete or advice--I don't know if your father will turn around and claim that you forged his signature and stole his money (for example). But the point is that falsifying someone's signature does not, by itself constitute the crime of forgery.

I would also add this hypothetical--let's say that forgery merely required a false signature with no intent to defraud (remember: this is not the law). From an evidentiary standpoint, if both you and your father say that it's your father's signature on the check, who is in a position to disagree? In a criminal setting where guilt must be proven beyond a reasonable doubt, there's simply no way that a conviction could be rendered.

Let me know if further clarification is needed. Thank you.
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