The criminal offence of Uttering a Forged Document is similar to Forgery and can result in a criminal record and jail time. One of the key elements of the offence is the accused person’s knowledge or belief that the document is a forgery, or a fake. These charges are typically laid in the course of business transactions (tax returns, real estate deals and job applications). The offence can be made out with as little as a forged signature (in addition to forgery charges). There is no substitute to having an experienced criminal lawyer on your side when you are facing serious charges such as these.
The offence criminalizes four different courses of actions that one may take with a forged document. Disclosure in these types of cases most commonly consists of documentary evidence (paperwork, business records etc). Subsection 2 of the offence makes it clear that it is irrelevant as to where the document(s) were forged. The emphasis is on the state of the mind and knowledge of the accused.
Uttering a forged document is a hybrid offence which allows the prosecution to proceed summarily or by indictment. This decision is generally based on the seriousness of the offence as well the criminal record of the accused. If the crown elects to proceed by way of summary conviction, the maximum sentence for utter forged document is a $5,000 fine and/or six months in jail. If the offence is more serious and the crown proceeds by indictment, the maximum sentence is ten years in a penitentiary.