Does a “written instrument” have to be in physical form or would an electronic image classify regarding a forgery?

Would a fake ID which is never printed and only uttered electronically, i.e. an image of which was emailed to someone in another state for purposes of identification, be considered a “written instrument” for the purposes of relevant forgery statutes?

Asked on June 3, 2012 under Criminal Law, Kentucky


Kevin Bessant / Law Office of Kevin Bessant & Associates

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

If the fake or fraudulent identification was submitted electronically with the intent and purposes to purport the fradulent i.d. as a form of identification, than it can be argued that the electronic submission was a written instrument, albeit not in a physical format. The criminal issue will be whether or not you "knowingly or willfully" possessed the fraudulent identification, and not whether the i.d. will be considered a written instrument.

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