17th Jan 2017
A criminal defense attorney in Broward County can explain that the prosecution has the burden of proving each element of the crime before a defendant can be convicted. The first element is that the defendant uttered or published a false, forged or altered instrument and treated it as true. The second element is that the defendant knew that the instrument was false, forged, altered or counterfeited. The final element is that the defendant acted in this manner with the intent to cause injury or to defraud the victim. A criminal defense attorney in Broward County can use this information to attack the prosecution’s case.
One common area for attack is the lack of knowledge on the defendant’s part. This element requires the prosecutor to show that the defendant had actual knowledge of the falsity of the document. Constructive knowledge, or what the defendant should have known, is not enough. However, circumstantial evidence can be used against the defendant. For example, if a check is signed with a fake name by the defendant or signing blank checks that another person cashed and splitting the proceeds with this accomplice may be considered sufficient knowledge by a jury.
The defendant can present his or her own testimony regarding a lack of knowledge. The prosecutor has the burden of overcoming any innocent explanation regarding the defendant’s lack of knowledge regarding the forgery. A criminal defense attorney can explain other defenses that might apply in the case that refute the knowledge element or the other elements of the crime. Additionally, he or she can explore possible resolutions to the case, such as challenging the admissibility of evidence in an attempt to get the charges dismissed or negotiating a favorable plea bargain on the defendant’s behalf.