CALCRIM No. 1930. Possession of Forged Document (Pen. Code, § 475(a))
Judicial Council of California Criminal Jury Instructions (2023 edition)Download PDF
(iv) Possession With Intent to Defraud
1930.Possession of Forged Document (Pen. Code, § 475(a))
The defendant is charged [in Count ] with (possessing/ [or]
receiving) (a/an) (forged[,]/ [or] altered[,]/ [or] counterfeit) document [in
violation of Penal Code section 475(a)].
To prove that the defendant is guilty of this crime, the People must
1. The defendant (possessed/ [or] received) (a/an) (forged[,]/ [or]
altered[,]/ [or] counterfeit) (document/ [or] completed
<insert type[s] of document[s] from Pen. Code,
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.]
<Sentencing factor for instruments specified in Penal Code section 473(b)>
[If you find the defendant guilty of (possessing/ [or] receiving) (a/an)
(forged[,]/ [or] altered[,]/[or] counterfeit) document, 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, October 2021
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 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
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); People v. Abrahamian (2020) 45 Cal.App.5th
314, 330-333 [258 Cal.Rptr.3d 670].
• 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
• 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].
CRIMINAL WRITINGS AND FRAUD CALCRIM No. 1930
• 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].
• 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].
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
2 Witkin & Epstein, California Criminal Law (4th ed. 2012) Crimes Against
Property, § 192.
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).
CALCRIM No. 1930 CRIMINAL WRITINGS AND FRAUD