Due to Covid-19, we're providing FREE consultations via Phone or Video with flexible payment options.

California DUI Lawyers Association
AVVO
Expertise
ESPN Radio

Filing a False Document

If you or a loved one is being charged with or investigated for filing a false document, you should immediately contact filing false document attorney William Weinberg. Filing a false document is a felony offense that carries a punishment of up to three years in State Prison and the possibility of substantial fines. As such, if you're being charged with it, you should immediately contact Mr. Weinberg to devise a defense strategy for your case. So, what is the offense of filing a false document? We will answer this in the section below.

What is Filing a False Document?

The crime of filing a false document is, as the name implies, filing a false or forged document with any Government Office in the State of California. Many of the defendants that come to us have filed false or forged real estate documents with the Secretary of State to commit some form of real estate fraud. If your situation sounds similar, please contact Orange County filing a false document lawyer William Weinberg.

Filing a false document does not have to involve forging and filing documents to commit real estate fraud. For example, an individual can commit the crime of filing a false document if he forges a notary public's stamp or signature on a document and then proceeds to file the document with a Public Office in the State of California.

To convict an individual of filing a false document, the prosecution must prove the following elements:

  • The defendant knowingly
  • Offered or obtained a document,
  • To be filed, registered, or recorded,
  • With any Public Office in the State of California
  • While the defendant knew that the document was false or forged at the time he offered it for filing or registration

You should know that for the prosecution to convict a person of filing a false document; the defendant need only offer the document for filing. The false or forged document does not necessarily have had to been filed for an individual to be convicted.

Examples of Filing a False Document

An individual can commit the crime of filing a false document by making a false statement or forging any of the following documents: (1) California Tax Returns, (2) California income statements, (3) bank statements, (4) immigration documents, (5) bank records and or statements, or (6) forged property deeds.

For example, an individual commits the crime of filing a false document if he understates the amount of income that he made in his California Tax Return that is filed with the State of California. If the prosecution can show that the individual made the false statement knowing it to be false, the individual can be convicted of the crime of filing a false document.

A second example of filing a false document can be seen when an individual makes a false statement in immigration documents and subsequently files the documents with the immigration office in the State of California. Again, if the prosecution can show that the individual made the statements knowing them to be false, the prosecution may be able to convict the individual of filing a false document.

A third example of filing a false document occurs when an individual forges a copy of a transfer deed of real property, illegally transferring a piece of real estate property to himself. The individual then files or offers the forged transfer deed to the County Recorders Office. Subsequently, the individual takes out large loans against the property. In such a case, the individual can be charged with filing a false document because of the fact that the transfer deed that was filed with the recorder's office was forged. The individual can also be charged with other relevant crimes.

If you find yourself in the unfortunate situation of being charged with filing a false document in the State of California, please immediately call Orange County filing a false document lawyer William Weinberg for a consultation. Filing a false document is a serious crime that carries a punishment of up to three years in California State Prison.

Penalty for Filing a False Document General Sentencing

In California, filing a false document with a California Public Office is a felony offense that carries a maximum penalty of up to three years in California State Prison, as well as a maximum fine of up to $10,000. 

The judge does have discretion in sentencing an individual to either 16 months, two years, or three years in California State Prison. Also, each false or forged document that an individual files with a California Public Office can be charged as a separate offense, meaning a defendant can be charged with and convicted with multiple offenses of filing a false document.

Probation

The judge has the option of offering an individual probation; however, probation cannot be offered if the individual had previously been convicted of filing a false document under §115 or if the individual's filing of the false document caused more than $100,000 in damages to the victim.

Enhancements

If the false document that you filed placed an encumbrance or mortgage on a single-family residence, you may face an additional fine of up to $75,000.

Immigration Status

If you're an immigrant in the United States, you should immediately contact an attorney because the crime of filing a false statement is one that involves moral turpitude, as such, it can have immigration consequences. Federal immigration laws require immigrants to have good moral standing, and having a conviction for filing a false statement can be used against you to show that you do not have good moral standing. 

Filing a False Document Defenses

The best defense that Orange County filing a false document attorney can make for your case is that you did not know that the document that you filed was false. California Penal Code §115 requires the prosecution to show that the defendant knowingly filed a false statement. So, your attorney can argue that you had no knowledge of the falsity of the filed document.

Also, your attorney may also be able to use an accident defense in the event that you made a mistake as to which document you filed with the public office. Maybe you had several draft documents, and you accidentally chose the false document to file instead of the real document that you actually wanted to file with the public office. In such an event, your attorney may be able to have the charges against you reduced or even dropped because you did not have the requisite intent to file a false document.

A third defense that may be used in your case is that you are not the person who filed the false document. To be convicted, the prosecution must show that you filed the document or caused someone to file it. So, if the facts of your case support it, Orange County filing a false document lawyer William Weinberg will argue that it is not you who filed the document and that it may have been someone else.

A fourth defense that your attorney may use is that you had the consent of the party to file the document at issue. This situation arises when a defendant is accused of tricking an individual into signing documents that transfer over real or personal property. In such a situation, your attorney may be able to argue that the party whose property is affected consented to the document being filed. If the other party argues that it did not consent, your lawyer may be able to argue that the party either forgot that it consented or was convinced by someone else to rescind the legally filed document.

Contact an Attorney

Again, if you or a loved one is being charged with or investigated for filing a false document, you should immediately contact Orange County filing a false document lawyer William Weinberg to formulate a defense strategy for your case. Mr. Weinberg can be reached at (949) 474-8008 or by email at bill@williamweinberg.com.

Client Reviews
★★★★★
He was open, honest and compassionate (qualities you don't always find in an attorney) and his credentials proved that he is more than qualified to handle this complicated case. JoAnn H.
★★★★★
Not only did [my case] get resolved with great efficiency, [Mr. Weinberg and his team] were very open with me and kept the lines of communication flowing which I appreciated greatly. Ryan T.
★★★★★
There are many things about our conversations that told me that bill was an honest guy and knew what he was talking about. Amy C.