Code Section Group

Penal Code - PEN

PART 1. OF CRIMES AND PUNISHMENTS [25 - 680]

  ( Part 1 enacted 1872. )

TITLE 13. OF CRIMES AGAINST PROPERTY [450 - 593g]

  ( Title 13 enacted 1872. )

CHAPTER 4. Forgery and Counterfeiting [470 - 483.5]
  ( Chapter 4 enacted 1872. )

470.
  

(a) Every person who, with the intent to defraud, knowing that he or she has no authority to do so, signs the name of another person or of a fictitious person to any of the items listed in subdivision (d) is guilty of forgery.

(b) Every person who, with the intent to defraud, counterfeits or forges the seal or handwriting of another is guilty of forgery.

(c) Every person who, with the intent to defraud, alters, corrupts, or falsifies any record of any will, codicil, conveyance, or other instrument, the record of which is by law evidence, or any record of any judgment of a court or the return of any officer to any process of any court, is guilty of forgery.

(d) Every person who, with the intent to defraud, falsely makes, alters, forges, or counterfeits, utters, publishes, passes or attempts or offers to pass, as true and genuine, any of the following items, knowing the same to be false, altered, forged, or counterfeited, is guilty of forgery: any check, bond, bank bill, or note, cashier’s check, traveler’s check, money order, post note, draft, any controller’s warrant for the payment of money at the treasury, county order or warrant, or request for the payment of money, receipt for money or goods, bill of exchange, promissory note, order, or any assignment of any bond, writing obligatory, or other contract for money or other property, contract, due bill for payment of money or property, receipt for money or property, passage ticket, lottery ticket or share purporting to be issued under the California State Lottery Act of 1984, trading stamp, power of attorney, certificate of ownership or other document evidencing ownership of a vehicle or undocumented vessel, or any certificate of any share, right, or interest in the stock of any corporation or association, or the delivery of goods or chattels of any kind, or for the delivery of any instrument of writing, or acquittance, release or discharge of any debt, account, suit, action, demand, or any other thing, real or personal, or any transfer or assurance of money, certificate of shares of stock, goods, chattels, or other property whatever, or any letter of attorney, or other power to receive money, or to receive or transfer certificates of shares of stock or annuities, or to let, lease, dispose of, alien, or convey any goods, chattels, lands, or tenements, or other estate, real or personal, or falsifies the acknowledgment of any notary public, or any notary public who issues an acknowledgment knowing it to be false; or any matter described in subdivision (b).

(e) Upon a trial for forging any bill or note purporting to be the bill or note of an incorporated company or bank, or for passing, or attempting to pass, or having in possession with intent to pass, any forged bill or note, it is not necessary to prove the incorporation of the bank or company by the charter or act of incorporation, but it may be proved by general reputation; and persons of skill are competent witnesses to prove that the bill or note is forged or counterfeited.

(Amended by Stats. 2005, Ch. 295, Sec. 5. Effective January 1, 2006.)

470a.
  

Every person who alters, falsifies, forges, duplicates or in any manner reproduces or counterfeits any driver’s license or identification card issued by a governmental agency with the intent that such driver’s license or identification card be used to facilitate the commission of any forgery, is punishable by imprisonment in a county jail for not more than one year, or by imprisonment pursuant to subdivision (h) of Section 1170.

(Amended by Stats. 2011, Ch. 15, Sec. 358. Effective April 4, 2011. Operative October 1, 2011, by Sec. 636 of Ch. 15, as amended by Stats. 2011, Ch. 39, Sec. 68.)

470b.
  

Every person who displays or causes or permits to be displayed or has in his or her possession any driver’s license or identification card of the type enumerated in Section 470a with the intent that the driver’s license or identification card be used to facilitate the commission of any forgery, is punishable by imprisonment in a county jail for not more than one year, or by imprisonment pursuant to subdivision (h) of Section 1170.

(Amended by Stats. 2011, Ch. 15, Sec. 359. Effective April 4, 2011. Operative October 1, 2011, by Sec. 636 of Ch. 15, as amended by Stats. 2011, Ch. 39, Sec. 68.)

471.
  

Every person who, with intent to defraud another, makes, forges, or alters any entry in any book of records, or any instrument purporting to be any record or return specified in Section 470, is guilty of forgery.

(Amended by Stats. 2002, Ch. 787, Sec. 11. Effective January 1, 2003.)

471.5.
  

Any person who alters or modifies the medical record of any person, with fraudulent intent, or who, with fraudulent intent, creates any false medical record, is guilty of a misdemeanor.

(Amended by Stats. 1979, Ch. 644.)

472.
  

Every person who, with intent to defraud another, forges, or counterfeits the seal of this State, the seal of any public officer authorized by law, the seal of any Court of record, or the seal of any corporation, or any other public seal authorized or recognized by the laws of this State, or of any other State, Government, or country, or who falsely makes, forges, or counterfeits any impression purporting to be an impression of any such seal, or who has in his possession any such counterfeited seal or impression thereof, knowing it to be counterfeited, and willfully conceals the same, is guilty of forgery.

(Enacted 1872.)

473.
  

(a) Forgery is punishable by imprisonment in a county jail for not more than one year, or by imprisonment pursuant to subdivision (h) of Section 1170.

(b) Notwithstanding subdivision (a), any person who is guilty of forgery relating to a check, bond, bank bill, note, cashier’s check, traveler’s check, or money order, where the value of the check, bond, bank bill, note, cashier’s check, traveler’s check, or money order does not exceed nine hundred fifty dollars ($950), shall be punishable by imprisonment in a county jail for not more than one year, except that such person may instead be punished pursuant to subdivision (h) of Section 1170 if that person has one or more prior convictions for an offense specified in clause (iv) of subparagraph (C) of paragraph (2) of subdivision (e) of Section 667 or for an offense requiring registration pursuant to subdivision (c) of Section 290. This subdivision shall not be applicable to any person who is convicted both of forgery and of identity theft, as defined in Section 530.5.

(Amended November 4, 2014, by initiative Proposition 47, Sec. 6.)

474.
  

Every person who knowingly and willfully sends by telegraph or telephone to any person a false or forged message, purporting to be from a telegraph or telephone office, or from any other person, or who willfully delivers or causes to be delivered to any person any such message falsely purporting to have been received by telegraph or telephone, or who furnishes, or conspires to furnish, or causes to be furnished to any agent, operator, or employee, to be sent by telegraph or telephone, or to be delivered, any such message, knowing the same to be false or forged, with the intent to deceive, injure, or defraud another, is punishable by imprisonment in a county jail not exceeding one year, or by imprisonment pursuant to subdivision (h) of Section 1170, or by a fine not exceeding ten thousand dollars ($10,000), or by both that fine and imprisonment.

(Amended by Stats. 2011, Ch. 15, Sec. 361. Effective April 4, 2011. Operative October 1, 2011, by Sec. 636 of Ch. 15, as amended by Stats. 2011, Ch. 39, Sec. 68.)

475.
  

(a) Every person who possesses or receives, with the intent to pass or facilitate the passage or utterance of any forged, altered, or counterfeit items, or completed items contained in subdivision (d) of Section 470 with intent to defraud, knowing the same to be forged, altered, or counterfeit, is guilty of forgery.

(b) Every person who possesses any blank or unfinished check, note, bank bill, money order, or traveler’s check, whether real or fictitious, with the intention of completing the same or the intention of facilitating the completion of the same, in order to defraud any person, is guilty of forgery.

(c) Every person who possesses any completed check, money order, traveler’s check, warrant or county order, whether real or fictitious, with the intent to utter or pass or facilitate the utterance or passage of the same, in order to defraud any person, is guilty of forgery.

(Repealed and added by Stats. 1998, Ch. 468, Sec. 4. Effective January 1, 1999.)

476.
  

Every person who makes, passes, utters, or publishes, with intent to defraud any other person, or who, with the like intent, attempts to pass, utter, or publish, or who has in his or her possession, with like intent to utter, pass, or publish, any fictitious or altered bill, note, or check, purporting to be the bill, note, or check, or other instrument in writing for the payment of money or property of any real or fictitious financial institution as defined in Section 186.9 is guilty of forgery.

(Repealed and added by Stats. 1998, Ch. 468, Sec. 7. Effective January 1, 1999.)

476a.
  

(a) Any person who, for himself or herself, as the agent or representative of another, or as an officer of a corporation, willfully, with intent to defraud, makes or draws or utters or delivers a check, draft, or order upon a bank or depositary, a person, a firm, or a corporation, for the payment of money, knowing at the time of that making, drawing, uttering, or delivering that the maker or drawer or the corporation has not sufficient funds in, or credit with the bank or depositary, person, firm, or corporation, for the payment of that check, draft, or order and all other checks, drafts, or orders upon funds then outstanding, in full upon its presentation, although no express representation is made with reference thereto, is punishable by imprisonment in a county jail for not more than one year, or pursuant to subdivision (h) of Section 1170.

(b) However, if the total amount of all checks, drafts, or orders that the defendant is charged with and convicted of making, drawing, or uttering does not exceed nine hundred fifty dollars ($950), the offense is punishable only by imprisonment in the county jail for not more than one year, except that such person may instead be punished pursuant to subdivision (h) of Section 1170 if that person has one or more prior convictions for an offense specified in clause (iv) of subparagraph (C) of paragraph (2) of subdivision (e) of Section 667 or for an offense requiring registration pursuant to subdivision (c) of Section 290. This subdivision shall not be applicable if the defendant has previously been convicted of three or more violations of Section 470, 475, or 476, or of this section, or of the crime of petty theft in a case in which defendant’s offense was a violation also of Section 470, 475, or 476 or of this section or if the defendant has previously been convicted of any offense under the laws of any other state or of the United States which, if committed in this state, would have been punishable as a violation of Section 470, 475 or 476 or of this section or if he has been so convicted of the crime of petty theft in a case in which, if defendant’s offense had been committed in this state, it would have been a violation also of Section 470, 475, or 476, or of this section.

(c) Where the check, draft, or order is protested on the ground of insufficiency of funds or credit, the notice of protest shall be admissible as proof of presentation, nonpayment, and protest and shall be presumptive evidence of knowledge of insufficiency of funds or credit with the bank or depositary, person, firm, or corporation.

(d) In any prosecution under this section involving two or more checks, drafts, or orders, it shall constitute prima facie evidence of the identity of the drawer of a check, draft, or order if both of the following occur:

(1) When the payee accepts the check, draft, or order from the drawer, he or she obtains from the drawer the following information: name and residence of the drawer, business or mailing address, either a valid driver’s license number or Department of Motor Vehicles identification card number, and the drawer’s home or work phone number or place of employment. That information may be recorded on the check, draft, or order itself or may be retained on file by the payee and referred to on the check, draft, or order by identifying number or other similar means.

(2) The person receiving the check, draft, or order witnesses the drawer’s signature or endorsement, and, as evidence of that, initials the check, draft, or order at the time of receipt.

(e) The word “credit” as used herein shall be construed to mean an arrangement or understanding with the bank or depositary, person, firm, or corporation for the payment of a check, draft, or order.

(f) If any of the preceding paragraphs, or parts thereof, shall be found unconstitutional or invalid, the remainder of this section shall not thereby be invalidated, but shall remain in full force and effect.

(g) A sheriff’s department, police department, or other law enforcement agency may collect a fee from the defendant for investigation, collection, and processing of checks referred to their agency for investigation of alleged violations of this section or Section 476.

(h) The amount of the fee shall not exceed twenty-five dollars ($25) for each bad check, in addition to the amount of any bank charges incurred by the victim as a result of the alleged offense. If the sheriff’s department, police department, or other law enforcement agency collects a fee for bank charges incurred by the victim pursuant to this section, that fee shall be paid to the victim for any bank fees the victim may have been assessed. In no event shall reimbursement of the bank charge to the victim pursuant to this section exceed ten dollars ($10) per check.

(Amended November 4, 2014, by initiative Proposition 47, Sec. 7.)

477.
  

Every person who counterfeits any of the species of gold or silver coin current in this State, or any kind or species of gold dust, gold or silver bullion, or bars, lumps, pieces, or nuggets, or who sells, passes, or gives in payment such counterfeit coin, dust, bullion, bars, lumps, pieces, or nuggets, or permits, causes, or procures the same to be sold, uttered, or passed, with intention to defraud any person, knowing the same to be counterfeited, is guilty of counterfeiting.

(Enacted 1872.)

478.
  

Counterfeiting is punishable by imprisonment pursuant to subdivision (h) of Section 1170 for two, three or four years.

(Amended by Stats. 2011, Ch. 15, Sec. 362. Effective April 4, 2011. Operative October 1, 2011, by Sec. 636 of Ch. 15, as amended by Stats. 2011, Ch. 39, Sec. 68.)

479.
  

Every person who has in his possession, or receives for any other person, any counterfeit gold or silver coin of the species current in this state, or any counterfeit gold dust, gold or silver bullion or bars, lumps, pieces or nuggets, with the intention to sell, utter, put off or pass the same, or permits, causes or procures the same to be sold, uttered or passed, with intention to defraud any person, knowing the same to be counterfeit, is punishable by imprisonment pursuant to subdivision (h) of Section 1170 for two, three or four years.

(Amended by Stats. 2011, Ch. 15, Sec. 363. Effective April 4, 2011. Operative October 1, 2011, by Sec. 636 of Ch. 15, as amended by Stats. 2011, Ch. 39, Sec. 68.)

480.
  

(a) Every person who makes, or knowingly has in his or her possession any die, plate, or any apparatus, paper, metal, machine, or other thing whatever, made use of in counterfeiting coin current in this state, or in counterfeiting gold dust, gold or silver bars, bullion, lumps, pieces, or nuggets, or in counterfeiting bank notes or bills, is punishable by imprisonment pursuant to subdivision (h) of Section 1170 for two, three, or four years; and all dies, plates, apparatus, papers, metals, or machines intended for the purpose aforesaid, must be destroyed.

(b) (1) If the counterfeiting apparatus or machine used to violate this section is a computer, computer system, or computer network, the apparatus or machine shall be disposed of pursuant to Section 502.01.

(2) For the purposes of this section, “computer system” and “computer network” have the same meaning as that specified in Section 502. The terms “computer, computer system, or computer network” include any software or data residing on the computer, computer system, or computer network used in a violation of this section.

(Amended by Stats. 2011, Ch. 15, Sec. 364. Effective April 4, 2011. Operative October 1, 2011, by Sec. 636 of Ch. 15, as amended by Stats. 2011, Ch. 39, Sec. 68.)

481.
  

Every person who counterfeits, forges, or alters any ticket, check, order, coupon, receipt for fare, or pass, issued by any railroad or steamship company, or by any lessee or manager thereof, designed to entitle the holder to ride in the cars or vessels of such company, or who utters, publishes, or puts into circulation, any such counterfeit or altered ticket, check, or order, coupon, receipt for fare, or pass, with intent to defraud any such railroad or steamship company, or any lessee thereof, or any other person, is punishable by imprisonment in a county jail, not exceeding one year, or by imprisonment pursuant to subdivision (h) of Section 1170, or by fine not exceeding one thousand dollars, or by both that imprisonment and fine.

(Amended by Stats. 2011, Ch. 15, Sec. 365. Effective April 4, 2011. Operative October 1, 2011, by Sec. 636 of Ch. 15, as amended by Stats. 2011, Ch. 39, Sec. 68.)

481.1.
  

(a) Every person who counterfeits, forges, or alters any fare media designed to entitle the holder to a ride on vehicles of a public transportation system, as defined by Section 99211 of the Public Utilities Code, or on vehicles operated by entities subsidized by the Department of Transportation is punishable by imprisonment in a county jail, not exceeding one year, or in the state prison.

(b) Every person who knowingly possesses any counterfeit, forged, or altered fare media designed to entitle the holder to a ride on vehicles of a public transportation system, as defined by Section 99211 of the Public Utilities Code, or on vehicles operated by entities subsidized by the Department of Transportation, or who utters, publishes, or puts into circulation any fare media with intent to defraud is punishable by imprisonment in a county jail not exceeding one year, or by a fine not exceeding one thousand dollars ($1,000), or by both that imprisonment and fine.

(Amended by Stats. 2001, Ch. 854, Sec. 29. Effective January 1, 2002.)

482.
  

Every person who, for the purpose of restoring to its original appearance and nominal value in whole or in part, removes, conceals, fills up, or obliterates, the cuts, marks, punch-holes, or other evidence of cancellation, from any ticket, check, order, coupon, receipt for fare, or pass, issued by any railroad or steamship company, or any lessee or manager thereof, canceled in whole or in part, with intent to dispose of by sale or gift, or to circulate the same, or with intent to defraud the railroad or steamship company, or lessee thereof, or any other person, or who, with like intent to defraud, offers for sale, or in payment of fare on the railroad or vessel of the company, such ticket, check, order, coupon, or pass, knowing the same to have been so restored, in whole or in part, is punishable by imprisonment in the county jail not exceeding six months, or by a fine not exceeding one thousand dollars, or by both such imprisonment and fine.

(Amended by Stats. 1905, Ch. 515.)

483.
  

Except as otherwise provided in Section 26002.5 of the Government Code and Sections 40180.5 and 99151 of the Public Utilities Code, any person, firm, corporation, partnership, or association that shall sell to another any ticket, pass, scrip, mileage or commutation book, coupon, or other instrument for passage on a common carrier, for the use of any person not entitled to use the same according to the terms thereof, or of the book or portion thereof from which it was detached, shall be guilty of a misdemeanor.

(Amended by Stats. 1979, Ch. 161.)

483.5.
  

(a) No deceptive identification document shall be manufactured, sold, offered for sale, furnished, offered to be furnished, transported, offered to be transported, or imported or offered to be imported into this state unless there is diagonally across the face of the document, in not less than 14-point type and printed conspicuously on the document in permanent ink, the following statement:

 NOT A GOVERNMENT DOCUMENT

and, also printed conspicuously on the document, the name of the manufacturer.

(b) No document-making device may be possessed with the intent that the device will be used to manufacture, alter, or authenticate a deceptive identification document.

(c) As used in this section, “deceptive identification document” means any document not issued by a governmental agency of this state, another state, the federal government, a foreign government, a political subdivision of a foreign government, an international government, or an international quasi-governmental organization, which purports to be, or which might deceive an ordinary reasonable person into believing that it is, a document issued by such an agency, including, but not limited to, a driver’s license, identification card, birth certificate, passport, or social security card.

(d) As used in this section, “document-making device” includes, but is not limited to, an implement, tool, equipment, impression, laminate, card, template, computer file, computer disk, electronic device, hologram, laminate machine or computer hardware or software.

(e) Any person who violates or proposes to violate this section may be enjoined by any court of competent jurisdiction. Actions for injunction under this section may be prosecuted by the Attorney General, any district attorney, or any city attorney prosecuting on behalf of the people of the State of California under Section 41803.5 of the Government Code in this state in the name of the people of the State of California upon their own complaint or upon the complaint of any person.

(f) Any person who violates the provisions of subdivision (a) who knows or reasonably should know that the deceptive identification document will be used for fraudulent purposes is guilty of a crime, and upon conviction therefor, shall be punished by imprisonment in a county jail not to exceed one year, or by imprisonment pursuant to subdivision (h) of Section 1170. Any person who violates the provisions of subdivision (b) is guilty of a misdemeanor punishable by imprisonment in a county jail not exceeding one year, or by a fine not exceeding one thousand dollars ($1,000), or by both imprisonment and a fine. Any document-making device may be seized by law enforcement and shall be forfeited to law enforcement or destroyed by order of the court upon a finding that the device was intended to be used to manufacture, alter, or authenticate a deceptive identification document. The court may make such a finding in the absence of a defendant for whom a bench warrant has been issued by the court.

(Amended by Stats. 2011, Ch. 15, Sec. 366. Effective April 4, 2011. Operative October 1, 2011, by Sec. 636 of Ch. 15, as amended by Stats. 2011, Ch. 39, Sec. 68.)

PENPenal Code - PEN