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FORGERY AND UTTERING
Forgery is a crime that refers to as the making or creation of a counterfeit document, the modification of an existing document, or the signing of other’s signature without authorization with the intent to deceive and deprive others (Online Legal Dictionary, 2009).
The crime of forgery is a crime against property. It is so classified to assure people that the documents they are faced with are authentic and reliable. According to Lippmann (2007), forgery and uttering are two separate offenses. Forgery is committed at the completion of the drafting of the false document whether or not it is actually used to defraud others. And uttering is the purposely and knowingly circulating, publishing or utilizing a forged document. Documents are applied not only to the ones having legal significance, such as, real estate deeds and birth certificates, they are also applied to the ones without having legal significance, such as medical prescriptions. Forgery is not only restricted to economic harm. It may also involve circulation of a false document that could harm another’s character.
To convict an individual of forgery, the individual must be proven that he or she engaged in the act that damage or defraud another for personal interest at another’s expense such as the creation of a false document or modification of an existing document without authorization (actus reus), and that the individual did so with the specific intent to defraud (mens rea) out of money, an interest in property; and or other legal rights (Shouse Law Group, 2009).
An example of a forgery is signing someone else’s name using his check and endorsing the check to yourself, where you sign a person’s name without his knowledge and authorization (actus reus), and possessing the intent to swindle him by cashing that check (mens rea). Then purposely and knowingly cashing the forged check (uttering purposely and knowingly deceitful).
Another example is a credit card fraud, where an individual purchases using another person’s credit card, and then signing the credit card sales bill without the owner of the card’s knowledge and permission.
Forgery is a felony of the second degree if crime of forgery is related to money, revenue stamps, or government issued items, such as bonds, etc. Forgery is a felony of a third degree if crime of forgery is related to will, deeds, or other documents “evidencing, creating, transferring, altering, terminating, or otherwise affecting legal relations.” Other types of forgery is misdemeanor such as altering prescription for own use. (Lippman, 2007).
Kidnapping is the unlawful taking of a person without his or her consent from one place to another under situations where the person abducted does not have will, decision or freedom of movement through force, threat, intimidation or violence (Online Legal Dictionary, 2009).
Kidnapping is a crime against the person. The elements of kidnapping are the criminal intent (mens rea) to confine and move, or the confine and hide the person without his or her consent, the act (actus reus) of detaining and moving (from the protection of his or her home or business by a considerable distance), or detaining and hiding for an amount of time with the improper and unlawful use of force or threat of force.
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The crime of kidnapping is a first degree. If the actor chooses to release the victim, alive and in a sound place prior to trial, then the crime of kidnapping downgrades to second degree. The reason for this incentive is to give the kidnapper a motivation to desert the act and to not to go through with the crime.
An example and a true story of a kidnapping case is the case of the Jaycee Lee Dugard in California. Jaycee was 11 years old when she was detained and moved by Phillip Garrido, a sex offender, from her hometown of South Lake Tahoe. Eighteen years later, Jaycee, now 29 years old, with two children, were found in Antioch, California. She and her two children from Phillip were being detained by Phillip and his wife, Nancy and were threatened by Phillip and Nancy that if they escaped, that they will be hurt. Jaycee and her two children were kept in tents and sheds located in the backyard from where Phillip and Nancy lived. They were in isolation, hidden from the public eye were Jaycee’s two children have never even seen a school or a doctor.
ABC News 10 Online (2010) reported that Phillip Garrido will face charges of kidnapping to commit rape, rape by force or fear, lewd acts with a minor, sexual penetration and conspiracy to commit a crime. And Nancy Garrido will face charges of kidnapping to commit rape and conspiracy to commit a crime.
Robbery is a felonious taking of personal property in the possession of another, from his person or immediate presence, and against his will, accomplished by means of force or fear (Online Legal Dictionary, 2009).
The crime of robbery is a crime against a property. The actus reus of robbery is that the property must be taken from the victim’s person or victim’s presence against his will. The mens rea of robbery is the intent to permanently rob and dispossess another person of his or her property. The last element of robbery is the violence or threat of immediate violence placing an individual in fear or harm. This threat or force is used while taking the property from the victim’s person or during the victim’s presence against his will.
The crime of robbery is a felony of the second degree. If the robber tries to kill someone during the robbery, or purposely causes or tries to cause serious bodily harm, then the crime of robbery is upgraded to first degree.
An example of a robbery is an individual going into a gas station in the evening using a life-like BB gun to point at the gas station attendant, stealing money from the cash register, then running away. The three elements or robbery are met – the robber taking money from the cash register (present of the person), by pointing a life-like BB gun at the gas station attendant (by violence of threat of immediate violence placing another in fear), going into the gas station, pointing the life-like gun with the intention of getting the money, took the money and run (itent to permanently deprive another individual of property).
ABC News 10 Online (2010). Twisted Details Revealed in Dugard Kinap Case. Retrieved on January 19, 2009 from http://www.news10.net/news/local/story.aspx?storyid=65918.
Lippman, M. (2007). Contemporary Criminal Law – Concept, Cases and Controversies. Thousand Oaks: Sage Publications, Inc.
Online Legal Dictionary (2009) Forgery. Retrieved on January 18, 2010 from
Shouse Law Group (2009). California Forgery Law. Retrieved on January 19, 2010 from http://www.shouselaw.com/forgery.html
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