Forging Deed – Penal Code 115

Forging Deed – California Penal Code 115

It is a felony to knowingly procure or offer any false or forged instrument to be filed, registered, or recorded in any public office within California. When a defendant is charged with procuring filing of a false document or offering false document for filing pursuant to Pen. Code § 115, the People must prove that:

  1. The defendant offered or caused a false or forged document for filing, recording, or registration in a public office in California;
  2. When the defendant did that act, he/she knew that the document was false or forged; and00
  3. The document was one that, if genuine, could be legally filed, recorded, or registered.

Each document may constitute a separate offense.  Cases have interpreted the term “instrument” expansively, including any type of document that is filed or recorded with a public agency that, if acted on as genuine, would have the effect of deceiving someone. (See People v. Parks (1992) 7 Cal.App.4th 883, 886–887; Generes v. Justice Court (1980) 106 Cal.App.3d 678, 682–684.  Courts have held that an instrument also included a modified restraining order, false bail bonds, falsified probation work referral.  

A false real estate deed that is recorded transferring property from one person to another is a felony.  Often times, quit claim deeds are so loosely done by escrow or a real estate office that can be construed as a false document intended to defraud the homeowner. Divorce decrees that specify the distribution of separate and community property may be come into as circumstantial evidence as to whether the defendant intended to defraud or cause a false document from being recorded.

Call Attorney Arthur Khachatourians for a free defense consultation at the Khachatourians Law Group – 818-590-8294.