1902. Forgery of Handwriting or Seal
The defendant is charged [in Count ______] with forging [or counterfeiting] the (handwriting/seal) of another person.
To prove that the defendant is guilty of this crime, the People must prove that:
1. The defendant forged [or counterfeited] the (handwriting/ seal) of another person on <insert type[s] of document[s] that could defraud; see discussion in Related Issues>;
2. When the defendant did that act, (he/she) intended to defraud.
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 [or counterfeited] the following documents: <insert description of each document when multiple items alleged>. You may not find the defendant guilty unless all of you agree that the People have proved that the defendant forged [or counterfeited] at least one of these documents and you all agree on which document (he/she) forged [or counterfeited].]
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(b).
Applies to Document Not Listed in Penal Code Section 470(d). People v. Gaul-Alexander (1995) 32 Cal.App.4th 735, 741- 742 [38 Cal.Rptr.2d 176].
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.
Unanimity Instruction If Multiple Documents. People v. Sutherland (1993) 17 Cal.App.4th 602, 619, fn. 6 [21 Cal.Rptr.2d 752].
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[a][i] (Matthew Bender).
6 Millman, Sevilla & Tarlow, California Criminal Defense Practice, Ch. 143, Crimes Against Property, § 143.04 (Matthew Bender).
Lesser Included Offenses
Attempted Forgery. Pen. Code, §§ 664, 470.
Documents Not Specifically Listed in Penal Code Section 470(d)
A document not specifically listed in Penal Code section 470(d) may still come within the scope of the statute if the defendant "forges the . . . handwriting of another." (Pen. Code, 470(b).) However, not all writings are included within the scope of this provision. (Lewis v. Superior Court (1990) 217 Cal.App.3d 379, 398-399 [265 Cal.Rptr. 855] [campaign letter with false signature of President Reagan could not be basis of forgery charge].) "[A] writing not within those listed may fall under the part of section 470 covering a person who 'counterfeits or forges the . . . handwriting of another' if, on its face, the writing could possibly defraud anyone. [Citations.] The false writing must be something which will have the effect of defrauding one who acts upon it as genuine." (People v. Gaul-Alexander (1995) 32 Cal.App.4th 735, 741-742 [38 Cal.Rptr.2d 176].) The document must affect an identifiable legal, monetary, or property right. (Id. at p. 743; see also Lewis v. Superior Court, supra, 217 Cal.App.3d at pp. 398-399.)
(New January 2006)