CALCRIM No. 1901. Forgery by Endorsement (Pen. Code, § 470(a))

Judicial Council of California Criminal Jury Instructions (2023 edition)

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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.]
<Sentencing factor for instruments specified in Penal Code section 473(b)>
[If you find the defendant guilty of forgery by endorsement, you must
then decide whether the value of the (check/bond/bank bill/
note/cashier’s check/traveler’s check/money order) was more than $950.
If you have a reasonable doubt whether the value of the
(check/bond/bank bill/note/cashier’s check/traveler’s check/money order)
has a value of more than $950, you must find this allegation has not
been proved.]
New January 2006; Revised March 2019
Instructional Duty
The court has a sua sponte duty to give an instruction defining the elements of the
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].
Required Additional Findings. Pen. Code, § 473(b).
Scope of Pen. Code, § 473(b). People v. Gonzales (2018) 6 Cal.5th 44 [237
Cal.Rptr.3d 193, 424 P.3d 280].
Attempted Forgery. Pen. Code, §§ 664, 470.
See the Related Issues section of the Bench Notes for CALCRIM No. 1900,
Forgery by False Signature.
2 Witkin & Epstein, California Criminal Law (4th ed. 2012) Crimes Against
Property, §§ 165, 168-177.
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).

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