Often, forgery is thought strictly as the falsification of someone's signature as a means of gaining that person's authorization. For example, if another individual signed and cashed your paycheck without your permission, then that would be an act of forgery.
But the word forgery can actually be applied to many other instances of falsification. Creating a fake document or making alterations to an existing document can qualify as being forgery. So too can replicating works of art or literature without permission. Even copying a product, such as a pair of shoes, is a form of forgery, generally called counterfeiting.
So you may be wondering if all acts of duplication are considered forgery. No, they are not. Let's say you want to make a copy of a work of art for your own personal use, you may do so.
What you cannot do is duplicate the work and then try to sell it as the original artifact. This is because committing forgery typically involves a deliberate attempt to deceive. Forgery may have a component of larceny or fraud as well.
And this brings us back to the most commonly attempted type of forgery; the signing of another person's name on a check. Those who are granted access to the financial holdings of others may be especially susceptible to succumbing to the temptation of forging a signature in order to acquire funds. Many people who fall into this trap do so because they are suffering some sort of economic hardship. For others, it is simply a misguided act that can wind up having very serious consequences.
If you are ever arrested and charged with forgery, it is very important to take the matter seriously. Such charges could do terrible damage to your reputation. You may also be subject to steep penalties, including jail time. Contacting an experienced criminal attorney may be a very prudent way to begin preparing a strong defense.