Iowa code section 715A.2 defines the crime of forgery, which is committed when a person does any of the following acts in Iowa:
a. Alters a writing of another without the other’s permission.
b. Makes, completes, executes, authenticates, issues, or transfers a writing so that it purports to be the act of another who did not authorize that act, or so that it purports to have been executed at a time or place or in a numbered sequence other than was in fact the case, or so that it purports to be a copy of an original when no such original existed.
c. Utters a writing which the person knows to be forged in a manner specified in paragraph “a” or “b”.
d. Possesses a writing which the person knows to be forged in a manner specified in paragraph “a” or “b”.
The crime of Forgery in Iowa is a Class D felony, punishable by a 5 year prison term, if the writing that is allegedly forged is any of the following things:
(1) Part of an issue of money, securities, postage or revenue stamps, or other instruments issued by the government.
(2) Part of an issue of stock, bonds, credit-sale contracts as defined in section 203.1, or other instruments representing interests in or claims against any property or enterprise.
(3) A check, draft, or other writing which ostensibly evidences an obligation of the person who has purportedly executed it or authorized its execution.
(4) A document prescribed by statute, rule, or regulation for entry into or as evidence of authorized stay or employment in the United States.
Forgery is an aggravated misdemeanor in Iowa if the writing is or purports to be a will, deed, contract, release, commercial instrument, or any other writing or other document evidencing, creating, transferring, altering, terminating, or otherwise affecting legal relations. In such a case, the maximum penalty is 2 years in prison.
It is common that those charged with Forgery in Iowa will also be charged with other crimes, such as Theft or Burglary, for the same underlying alleged actions that led to the Forgery charge. Depending upon the specifics of the case, the Forgery charge may be more or less serious of a charge than the other charges, but regardless the case will be a serious one given the nature of Forgery charges in Iowa. For that reason, it is wise for every person accused of forgery to remain silent and promptly consult with an Iowa attorney about the case.