California Criminal Jury Instructions (CALCRIM) (2017)

1901. Forgery by Endorsement

Download PDF
1901.Forgery by Endorsement (Pen. Code, § 470(a))
The defendant is charged [in Count ] with forgery committed by
endorsement [in violation of Penal Code section 470(a)].
To prove that the defendant is guilty of this crime, the People must
prove that:
1. The defendant signed (the back of a check/(a/an)
<insert type of negotiable instrument>) with (the name of the
payee of that (check/ <insert type of negotiable
instrument>)/ [or] the name of another person whose signature
was required to (cash that check/negotiate that instrument));
2. The defendant did not have authority to sign that name;
3. The defendant knew that (he/she) did not have that authority;
4. When the defendant signed the document, (he/she) intended to
Someone intends to defraud if he or she intends to deceive another
person either to cause a loss of (money[,]/ [or] goods[,]/ [or] services[,]/
[or] something [else] of value), or to cause damage to, a legal, financial,
or property right.
[For the purpose of this instruction, a person includes (a governmental
agency/a corporation/a business/an association/the body politic).]
[It is not necessary that anyone actually be defrauded or actually suffer
a financial, legal, or property loss as a result of the defendant’s acts.]
[The People allege that the defendant forged the following documents:
<insert description of each document when multiple items
You may not find the defendant guilty unless all of you agree that the
People have proved that the defendant forged at least one of these
documents and you all agree on which document (he/she) forged.]
New January 2006
Instructional Duty
The court has a sua sponte duty to give this instruction defining the elements of
the crime.
If the prosecution alleges under a single count that the defendant forged multiple
documents, the court has a sua sponte duty to instruct on unanimity. (See People v.
Sutherland (1993) 17 Cal.App.4th 602, 619, fn. 6 [21 Cal.Rptr.2d 752].) Give the
last bracketed paragraph, inserting the items alleged. (See also Bench Notes to
CALCRIM No. 3500, Unanimity, discussing when instruction on unanimity is and
is not required.)
Give the bracketed sentence that begins with “For the purpose of this instruction” if
the evidence shows an intent to defraud an entity or association rather than a
natural person. (Pen. Code, § 8.)
Give the bracketed sentence that begins with “It is not necessary” if the evidence
shows that the defendant did not succeed in defrauding anyone. (People v. Morgan
(1956) 140 Cal.App.2d 796, 801 [296 P.2d 75].)
If the prosecution also alleges that the defendant passed or attempted to pass the
same document, give CALCRIM No. 1906, Forging and Passing or Attempting to
Pass: Two Theories in One Count.
• Elements. Pen. Code, § 470(a).
Signature Not Authorized—Element of Offense. People v. Hidalgo (1933)
128 Cal.App. 703, 707 [18 P.2d 391]; People v. Maioli (1933) 135 Cal.App.
205, 207 [26 P.2d 871].
• Intent to Defraud. People v. Pugh (2002) 104 Cal.App.4th 66, 72 [127
Cal.Rptr.2d 770]; People v. Gaul-Alexander (1995) 32 Cal.App.4th 735, 745 [38
Cal.Rptr.2d 176].
• Intent to Defraud Entity. Pen. Code, § 8.
• Forgery by Endorsement. People v. Maldonado (1963) 221 Cal.App.2d 128,
133–134 [34 Cal.Rptr. 168]; In re Valencia (1927) 84 Cal.App. 26, 26 [259 P.
• Unanimity Instruction If Multiple Documents. People v. Sutherland (1993) 17
Cal.App.4th 602, 619, fn. 6 [21 Cal.Rptr.2d 752].
Secondary Sources
2 Witkin & Epstein, California Criminal Law (3d ed. 2000) Crimes Against
Property, §§ 148, 159–168.
4 Millman, Sevilla & Tarlow, California Criminal Defense Practice, Ch. 85,
Submission to Jury and Verdict, § 85.02[2][a][i] (Matthew Bender).
6 Millman, Sevilla & Tarlow, California Criminal Defense Practice, Ch. 143,
Crimes Against Property, § 143.04[1][b], [c], [d] (Matthew Bender).
• Attempted Forgery. Pen. Code, §§ 664, 470.
See the Related Issues section of the Bench Notes for CALCRIM No. 1900,
Forgery by False Signature.