What is forgery?

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What is forgery?

Forgery is a crime under section 366 of the Criminal Code. Forgery is committed by knowingly making a false document with the intention that it be used as if it were genuine to negatively impact someone or to get someone to do (or not do) something. Making a meaningful change to a genuine document is considered making a false document. Forgery is complete as soon as the document is made, or even partially made (with the intention described above).

The following actions could be forgery:

  • Adding your father as a co-signer on your car lease without his permission.
  • Making a fake ID with the intention to use it to get into a bar, or to sell to someone who will use it for that purpose.
  • Whiting out and increasing the amount on your work paycheck with the intent to deposit the falsified check.
  • Changing your birth certificate to say you are five years older than you are to claim the old age security pension.
  • Changing a court order to say that you are the guardian of your child so that you can use it to get the child’s medical records or school report card.
  • Deleting a clause on a will so that you get your late father’s house, instead of his second wife.
  • Adding charges to an already signed and dated contract not allowed by the contract without the consent of the other party with the intent to receive more money from the other party.
  • Writing a letter addressed from a prestigious law firm to your neighbour stating that the firm has been hired by you and will sue on your behalf if your neighbour goes ahead with their plan to build another level onto their house which would obstruct your view.
  • Creating a copy of your university transcripts but with your first-year biology grade deleted with the intention to use the altered copy to apply to medical school.

Is it forgery if I never actually used the false document?

Yes, you can commit forgery even if you never actually used the false document. Forgery is committed when you made the document with the intent to prejudice someone or get them to do (or not do) something. In fact, you may have committed forgery even if you have not finished the document, and you do not have to make it with the intent to prejudice or induce a specific person.