35+ Years Criminal Defense Experience in California


California Forgery Lawyers Answer Frequently Asked Questions on PC 402

If you are accused of forgery crimes, you probably have many questions and very few answers. While each case is unique, many of our forgery lawyers’ clients have similar questions. Most questions center around the actual criminal process and punishment.

Can a forgery lawyer reduce my charges?

Under California Penal Code section 473[i], a forgery crime is a “wobbler” crime and can be charged as a misdemeanor or a felony. Even if it is already charged as a felony forgery crime, an experienced forgery lawyer can work to reduce it to a misdemeanor.

Whether a “wobbler” is charged as a misdemeanor or a felony is a decision made by the prosecutor. He will look at the circumstances surrounding your case and charge what he thinks he can prove.

But rarely does he have the full story. At this stage, an experienced forgery lawyer can negotiate on your behalf and try to convince the prosecutor to reduce or drop your charges.

Can a forgery lawyer keep me out of jail?

As with any case, an experienced forgery lawyer will try their best to keep you out of jail. Whether or not you go to jail depends on two things: your charges and your county.

As discussed on our punishment page, a misdemeanor forgery conviction can carry a one-year jail sentence. A felony forgery conviction can be up to a three-year jail sentence. Our forgery lawyers at Wallin and Klarich will work hard to keep the sentence as low as possible.

Depending on the county in which you are charged, you might be eligible for a work-release program under Penal Code section 4024.2[ii]. In these programs, community service substitutes for a jail sentence. If your county allows them, we will do our best to get you into a program.

Can these charges stay off my record?

Criminal Record - Forgery Lawyers
Can a forgery lawyer keep this off your record?

Bad check fraud is technically a type of forgery, but most counties in California treat it much more leniently than they actually can. Most counties use a diversion program that, if successfully completed under the guidance of your forgery lawyer, will allow you to avoid jail time.

These diversion programs are offered most often at the plea bargaining stage. If the program accepts you, you will have to complete certain conditions set up by the county. If you successfully complete everything they demand of you, the conviction will not go on your record.

Each county has their own conditions that they require of the defendant. Typically, they involve financial planning courses and paying back the value of the bad checks.

If I returned the altered check before I cashed it, is that a valid defense to the forgery charge?

Unfortunately this is not a defense to the charge. The crime is committed when you altered the check, if you had the required intent at the time you did so. The fact returned the check can be an important fact in “mitigation” and could help you receive a probationary sentence.

Where can I find an experienced forgery lawyer?

partners 2015 - forgery pc 402
Contact the attorneys at Wallin & Klarich today if you have been charged with forgery under PC 402

Forgery charges can be devastating and the punishment can be severe. With over 30 years of experience, the forgery lawyers at Wallin & Klarich are here to help you. Our experienced team will review your case and take the steps necessary to defend you. We have offices in Orange County, Los Angeles, San Diego, San Bernardino, Riverside, Ventura, Victorville and West Covina. Call us today at 877-4-NO-JAIL or fill out our online intake form for immediate assistance. We will get through this together.

[i] Information on Penal Code 473 retrieved from http://law.onecle.com/california/penal/473.html

[ii] Information on Penal Code 4024.2 retrieved from http://law.onecle.com/california/penal/4024.2.html

Was This Article Helpful? Please Share it.

Contact Us

Get Help Now

If you or a loved one have been accused of a crime, now is the time to contact us.
  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

Related Testimonials


    I would like to sincerely thank you for helping me with obtaining my Certificate of Rehabilitation. I now realize the importance of obtaining a law firm that has years of experience in criminal law. The way the package was organized and presented to the presiding judge was very impressive to me. The person that tried … Continue reading “Certificate of Rehabilitation and Governor’s Pardon Testimonials”

    View All

    My brother was convicted of second degree murder in Los Angeles County. He was sentenced to 16 years to life in state prison. I hired Stephen Klarich from the law firm of Wallin and Klarich to work on his appeal. Our family was very worried and fearful he would spend the rest of his life … Continue reading “PC 1237 | Appeals Testimonials”

    View All

    ARSON: “My husband and I received a shock recently when our son was arrested for starting a fire at a state park. But our shock turned into horror when he was charged with felony arson. We immediately hired the Law Firm of Wallin & Klarich. After a review of the evidence, Wallin & Klarich had … Continue reading “Client Testimonials: Arson”

    View All

Contact Us Now

If you or a loved one have been accused of a crime, this is the time to contact us.

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.
Get In Touch
Contact Info
17592 Irvine Blvd. Tustin, CA 92780 (714) 730-5300

Los Angeles County

Los Angeles | Long Beach | Glendale | Santa Clarita | Lancaster | Palmdale | Pomona | Torrance | Pasadena | West Covina | Carson | Santa Monica | Whittier | Lakewood | Redondo Beach | Arcadia | Diamond Bar | Glendora | Cerritos | La Mirada | Rancho Palos Verdes | Culver City | Manhattan Beach | Claremont | Beverly Hills | San Dimas | Walnut | Calabasas | Hermosa Beach | El Segundo | Palos Verdes Estates | Malibu

Orange County

Santa Ana | Anaheim | Irvine | Huntington Beach | Garden Grove | Orange | Fullerton | Costa Mesa | Mission Viejo | Westminster | Newport Beach | Buena Park | Lake Forest | Tustin | Yorba Linda | San Clemente | Laguna Niguel | La Habra | Fountain Valley | Anaheim Hills | Placentia | Rancho Santa Margarita | Aliso Viejo | Cypress | Brea | Stanton | San Juan Capistrano | Dana Point | Laguna Hills | North Tustin | Seal Beach | Ladera Ranch | Laguna Beach | Laguna Woods | La Palma | Coto de Caza | Los Alamitos | Rossmoor | Midway City | Las Flores | Villa Park

Riverside County

Riverside | Moreno Valley | Corona | Temecula | Murrieta | Jurupa Valley | Indio | Hemet | Menifee | Perris | Eastvale | Cathedral City | Palm Desert | Lake Elsinore | Palm Springs | La Quinta | Coachella | San Jacinto | Beaumont | Wildomar | Banning | Norco | Desert Hot Springs | Blythe | Rancho Mirage | Canyon Lake | Calimesa | Indian Wells

San Bernardino County

San Bernardino | Fontana | Rancho Cucamonga | Ontario | Victorville | Rialto | Hesperia | Chino | Chino Hills | Upland | Apple Valley | Redlands | Highland | Colton | Yucaipa | Montclair | Adelanto | Twentynine Palms | Loma Linda | Barstow | Yucca Valley | Grand Terrace | Big Bear Lake | Needles

San Diego

San Diego | Oceanside | Escondido | Carlsbad | Vista | San Marcos | Encinitas | Solana Beach | El Cajon | Santee | Poway | La Mesa | Del Mar


Oxnard | Thousand Oaks | Simi Valley | Ventura | Camarillo | Moorpark | Santa Paula | Port Hueneme | Fillmore | Ojai

Copyright © 2021 Wallin & Klarich - All rights reserved
California Criminal Defense Lawyer Disclaimer: The legal information presented at this site should not be construed to be formal legal advice, nor should it be considered the formation of a lawyer or attorney-client relationship. Any case results presented on the site are based upon the facts of a particular case and do not represent a promise or guarantee. The contents of this website may contain legal advertising. If you would like to find out more information about your particular legal matter, contact our office for a free telephonic consultation. This web site is not intended to solicit clients for matters outside of the state of California.