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CHAPTER 6: SELECTED CRIMINAL OFFENSES - Table of Contents

6.1 - Overview6.2 - Inchoate Offenses6.3 - Homicide6.4 - Assault6.5 - Domestic Violence6.6 - Other Unlawful Offenses against the person6.7 - Unlawful Sexual Behavior6.8 - Offenses against Property6.9 - Tresspass, Tampering and Mischief6.10 - Offenses involving Fraud6.11 - Offenses involving Family Relations6.12 - Offenses relating to Morals6.13 - Offenses against Government Operations and Public Order6.14 - Offenses relating to Weapons6.15 - Offenses relating to Controlled Substances6.16 - Alcohol/Drug related Traffic Incidents6.17 - Crimes Against Vulnerable Victims6.18 - Computer Crimes6.19 - Identity Theft

6.10 OFFENSES INVOLVING FRAUD

The various offenses relating to fraud are found in Article 5 of Title 18. The seven parts of Article 5 can be generally described as 1) forgery and related offenses, 2) fraud in obtaining property or services, 3) fraudulent business practices, 4) bribery, 5) Uniform Commercial Code offenses, 6) credit and debit card offenses, and 7) equity skimming offenses. This section will address only those parts that address forgery and related offenses, fraud in obtaining property or services and credit and debit card offenses, as these offenses make up the overwhelming bulk of prosecutions occurring under Article 5.

The most common form of forgery, C.R.S. 18-5-102, occurs when a person, acting with intent to defraud, falsely makes, completes, alters or utters a written instrument that is, or that is purported to be, a check. The forgery statute actually includes a large number of other written instruments, such as government or corporate obligations, commercial instruments, wills, etc., but check forgery is the most common form of forgery. A person utters a written instrument when the person transfers or passes that instrument, or causes it to be transferred or passed, to another person. Forgery is a class 5 felony. Second degree forgery, C.R.S. 18-5-103 occurs when a person falsely makes, completes, alters or utters a written instrument of any type other than the types described in the forgery statute. Second degree forgery is a class 1 misdemeanor. Simple possession of a forged instrument just described is a class 2 misdemeanor pursuant to C.R.S. 18-5-107, criminal possession of a second degree forged instrument.

An oral variation of forgery is criminal impersonation, C.R.S. 185-113. This crime occurs when a person knowingly assumes a false or fictitious identity and in such capacity, performs an act to benefit himself or that has the effect of harming another person. A common example occurs when a person who is stopped for a traffic violation gives a false name because his own license is under restraint. This crime also occurs when a person assumes the false identity and a) marries, b) posts bail, c) confesses a judgment, or d) verifies some written instrument that is being filed.

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