Pub. date: 2002 | Online Pub. Date: September 15, 2007 | DOI: 10.4135/9781412950664 | Print ISBN: 9780761922582 | Online ISBN: 9781412950664| Publisher:SAGE Publications, Inc.About this encyclopedia
Hank J. Brightman
When one thinks about the crime of forgery, the image of a skilled artist working delicately with tiny brushes on official documents such as a passport or driver license may come to mind. After altering the document, the forger's goal is to pass it off as genuine, thus fooling the person who accepts it. For example, in an effort to purchase alcohol illegally, a young person may change the date of birth on a driver license from eighteen to twenty-one. Alterations may be made using traditional tools, such as grease pencils and fine ink brushes, or by employing more technologically advanced equipment (e.g., optical scanners, inkjet printers, desktop publishing, and image enhancement software). Although such activities may appear harmless, forgery is a serious crime. Title 18 of the United States Code (18 U.S.C.), Chapter 25, provides penalties of up to twenty years for producing fake or altered currency (commonly referred ...