PC 134: Falsifying Court Documents

Posted on Posted in Current Events

Sometimes certain charges have judges ordering defendants to do certain things as a condition of the release while criminal proceedings are going on.  For example, a person who is charged with drug crimes may be ordered to attend NA (Narcotics Anonymous) meetings each week.  Or, a person charged with DUI can be ordered to attend AA (Alcoholics Anonymous) meetings.  Most attorneys try to keep their clients from having to do this.  Sometimes we’re successful.  Sometimes the judges order it anyway.

If the judge does order you to attend meetings each week, do not attempt to falsify court documents.  Do not try to forge the attendance card the morning of your pre-trial hearing in an attempt to “get one over” on the court.  9 times out of 10 you will get caught.  The judge is used to people trying to get away with things.  The judge will not like that you’re doing it too.  He or she can revoke bail and remand you to custody if he or she believes you have falsified documents.  You can also have additional charges filed against you by the DA.  And trust me when I say that DAs love to file as many charges against you as possible.

Penal Code 132 makes is a felony to use falsified documents or evidence when you know that it is false.  The prosecutor has to prove that you knew it was false.

Penal Code 134 makes it a felony to prepare any false documents intended to be used in court.  This means you don’t even have to actually present it to the judge or to any person as a part of the proceeding.  If you had the bright idea to forge an attendance card, walk into court, but then decide not to, you can have charges filed against you if it is found.

This morning, a judge in Orange County North Court loudly scolded a female defendant in open court because he believed she forged her attendance card.  Her attorney fought for her as much as he could.  The judge informed her that he could have revoked bail and remanded her immediately, but he would not do so because her attorney begged (practically on bended knee) for him not to.  The defendant had to stand there taking the lecture and did not open her mouth in defense.  Save yourself the embarrassment of a lecture in front of an audience full or people, and save yourself the worry of additional criminal charges, and do not falsify court documents.