California Criminal Jury Instructions (CALCRIM) (2017)
1955. False Signature on Access Card or ReceiptDownload PDF
1955.False Signature on Access Card or Receipt (Pen. Code,
The defendant is charged [in Count ] with forgery committed by
signing a false signature on (an access card/ [or] a document
authorizing payment by an access card) [in violation of Penal Code
To prove that the defendant is guilty of this crime, the People must
1. The defendant signed (someone else’s name/ [or] a false name)
on [an access card] [or] [a (sales slip[,]/ [or] sales draft[,]/ [or]
document for the payment of money) to complete an access card
2. The defendant was not the cardholder and did not have the
authority of the cardholder to sign that name;
3. The defendant knew that (he/she) did not have authority to sign
4. When the defendant signed the name, (he/she) intended to
An access card is a card, plate, code, account number, or other means of
account access that can be used, alone or with another access card, to
obtain (money[,]/ [or] goods[,]/ [or] services[,]/ [or] anything of value),
or that can be used to begin a transfer of funds[, other than a transfer
originated solely by a paper document].
[(A/An) <insert description, e.g., ATM card, credit card> is
an access card.]
Acardholder is someone who has been issued an access card [or who
has agreed with a card issuer to pay debts arising from the issuance of
an access card to someone else].
Acard issuer is a company [or person] [or the agent of a company or
person] that issues an access card to a cardholder.
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 (access cards/
[or] documents authorizing payment by an access card):
<insert description of each item when multiple items alleged>. You may
not ﬁnd the defendant guilty unless you all agree that the People have
proved that the defendant forged at least one of these (cards/documents)
and you all agree on which (card/document) (he/she) forged.]
New January 2006
The court has a sua sponte duty to give this instruction deﬁning the elements of
If the prosecution alleges under a single count that the defendant forged multiple
cards or transactions, 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.)
In the deﬁnition of “access card,” the court may give the bracketed portion that
begins with “other than a transfer” at its discretion. This statement is included in
the statutory deﬁnition of access card. (Pen. Code, § 484d(2).) However, the
committee believes it would rarely be relevant.
The court may also give the bracketed sentence stating “(A/An) is
an access card” if the parties agree on that point.
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, § 484f(b).
• Deﬁnitions. Pen. Code, § 484d.
• 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.
CRIMINAL WRITINGS AND FRAUD CALCRIM No. 1955
• 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].
• 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, § 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).
LESSER INCLUDED OFFENSES
• Attempted Forgery of Access Card. Pen. Code, §§ 664, 484f.
See the Related Issues sections in CALCRIM No. 1900, Forgery by False
Signature, and CALCRIM No. 1950, Sale or Transfer of Access Card or Account
CALCRIM No. 1955 CRIMINAL WRITINGS AND FRAUD