1930. Possession of Forged Document
The defendant is charged [in Count ______] with (possessing/ [or] receiving) (a/an) (forged[,]/ [or] altered[,]/ [or] counterfeit) document.
To prove that the defendant is guilty of this crime, the People must prove that:
1. The defendant (possessed/ [or] received) (a/an) (forged[,]/ [or] altered[,]/ [or] counterfeit) <insert type[s] of document[s] from Pen. Code, § 470(d)>;
2. The defendant knew that the document was (forged[,]/ [or] altered[,]/ [or] counterfeit);
3. The defendant intended to (pass[,]/ [or] use[,]/ [or] aid the passage or use of) the document as genuine;
4. When the defendant (possessed/ [or] received) the document, (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.]
A person (passes/ [or] uses) a document if he or she represents to someone that the document is genuine. The representation may be made by words or conduct and may be either direct or indirect.
[A person alters a document if he or she adds to, erases, or changes a part of the document that affects a legal, financial, or property right.]
[The People allege that the defendant possessed the following documents: <insert description of each document when multiple items alleged>. You may not find the defendant guilty unless you all agree that the People have proved that the defendant possessed at least one of these documents and you all agree on which document (he/she) possessed.]
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 possessed multiple forged items, 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.)
People v. Pugh (2002) 104 Cal.App.4th 66, 72 [127 Cal.Rptr.2d 770], defines the term "utter" as to "use" or "attempt to use" an instrument. The committee has omitted the unfamiliar term "utter" in favor of the more familiar terms "use" and "attempt to use."
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].)
Elements. Pen. Code, § 475(a).
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.
Pass or Attempt to Use Defined. People v. Tomlinson (1868) 35 Cal. 503, 509; People v. Jackson (1979) 92 Cal.App.3d 556, 562 [155 Cal.Rptr. 89], disapproved on other grounds in People v. Anderson (1987) 43 Cal.3d 1104, 1123 [240 Cal.Rptr. 585, 742 P.2d 1306].
Alteration Defined. People v. Nesseth (1954) 127 Cal.App.2d 712, 718-720 [274 P.2d 479]; People v. Hall (1942) 55 Cal.App.2d 343, 352 [130 P.2d 733].
Unanimity Instruction If Multiple Items. 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, § 173.
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).
Possession and Uttering
The defendant cannot be convicted of possessing and uttering the same document. (People v. Reisdorff (1971) 17 Cal.App.3d 675, 679 [95 Cal.Rptr. 224].)
Possession of Multiple Documents Only One Offense
Even if the defendant possessed multiple forged documents at the same time, only one violation of Penal Code section 475 may be charged. (People v. Bowie (1977) 72 Cal.App.3d 143, 156-157 [140 Cal.Rptr. 49] [11 checks supported 1 count, not 11].)
(New January 2006)