Document Forgery Lawyer, Panama

Lawyers specialized in document forgery

Have you been accused of the Crime of Documentary Falsification? Are you a victim of crimes against public faith such as forgery of documents?

Our criminal lawyers and document Forgery lawyers in Panama advise and defend organizations, important business conglomerates, financial institutions, state entities, businessmen and public servants from the crime of false documents, within the framework of Criminal Law, of International legislation and the Laws of Panama.

At our criminal law firm José María Castillo y Asociados, we frequently advise people who are under investigation or have been victims of the crime of forgery of documents.

Remember that it is important that a Document Forgery Lawyer specialized in the Crime of false documents assists you and defends you from the first moment.

Abogado de Falsificación de Documentos, Panamá

Our services can be given through preventive advice or representation in an extrajudicial declaration, in an administrative proceeding or a criminal proceeding according to your needs, we adapt.

Do you know what the Crime of Forgery or the crime of Falsification of Documents is? Do you know the crimes against Public Faith?

If the answer is No, below you will find the necessary information to make the decision to hire our criminal lawyers, document forgery lawyer.

What is protected with the crimes of Forgery or Falsification of Documents?

In the Republic of Panama, Public Faith is considered a protected legal asset. Therefore, there are in the Penal Code of the Republic of Panama in TITLE XI, CHAPTER I, CHAPTER II, CHAPTER III and CHAPTERIV CRIMES AGAINST PUBLIC FAITH.

Falsehood concept

In Panama we have the “Crimes against Public Faith” which are what we commonly known as Documentary or Ideological Falsity and on the other hand, we have the “Crimes of Falsification of Documents in General, Currency and other securities; Public stamps and Illegal Exercise of a profession”.

We, José María Castillo y Asociados, as criminal lawyers of the Republic of Panama, specialized in Patrimonial Economic and Company Crimes, have the objective of defining, particularly when studying each case, what crime the facts refer to, between false documents or ideology and document falsification.

In this sense, a key and differentiating element between the two crimes mentioned above can be illustrated as follows: when we refer to an accusation of forgery, this must be an existing document that is altered in one of its statements, on the other hand,  when we talk about documentary falsity or ideological falsity, it is the first and novel creation of a type of document to assert something.

Examples of the crime of False Documents and Document Forgery

We can find the forgery of an existing public seal because it has been physically altered to procure a benefit and on the other hand, we can find the forgery in a totally new document in contractual or legal life such as a will that asserts that it was granted by someone who he did not grant it and even did not intervene in its creation, to seek a benefit.

Are you not sure if you have been a victim or participating in any of the crimes of false documents or forgery of documents?

We have, material falsehood and ideological falsehood. The first consists of physically intervening to alter an existing document to prove something, for example: if we physically act to alter the date stated in said document, either by deleting it to put a new one or by adding a simple number and with this altered document, we try to benefit. Meanwhile, documentary falsity exists when we assert, in a document that serves as evidence, an act or data contrary to reality, such as; affirm that a piece of land measures 600 meters but in reality it measures 500, thus modifying the declaration materialized in the document.

Or on the other hand, that a notary attests that a person was present when executing a will, but he or she was not present and did not sign it; that is, a totally new document is created attributing participation to a person who did not participate. All of these assumptions must provide an undeserved benefit to some individual.

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Do you believe you have been a victim of or a participant in misrepresentations in capital investment or misrepresentation in the stock markets?

As the Republic of Panama is an attractive market for lucrative financial opportunities, the authorities have created a series of crimes designed to protect Panamanian financial markets.

The defense of our financial markets has been built following the guidelines of the Financial Analysis Unit (UAF) and supervised by the Superintendence of Securities of Panama in Articles 368, 369 and 370 of the Penal Code of the Republic of Panama, preventing forgery in the financial statements of companies that issue securities traded on the Panamanian stock market.

In our vast experience in the area of Economic Criminal Law, as criminal lawyers, we have observed that contrary to colloquial belief, the financial statements of a company that issues securities is not the only thing that can be falsified and mislead the investor, also information about their resources, debt, business and future planning of activities they plan to work in; all of the above in order to attract investor, obtain credits or loans.

Below are the regulatory articles of this type of falsehood:

  • Article 368. Whoever falsifies, in whole or in part, a private document as long as it causes harm to another, will be punished with one to two years in prison or its equivalent in days-fine or weekend arrest.
  • Article 369. The penalties established in Article 362 will be applied to whoever falsifies a closed will, a check, official or private, a bill of exchange, shares or other documents or titles of credits transferable by endorsement or bearer.
  • Article 370. Whoever alters or falsifies accounting book, accounting record, financial statement or other financial information of a bank or a financial institution, will be punished with imprisonment from ten to fifteen years. When the conduct described has been committed or induced by a shareholder, director, officer, manager or executive, the penalty will be increased by one third.

Unlike the documentary, ideological falsehoods and forgeries mentioned above, we see that this type of FALSE IN THE INVESTMENT OF CAPITAL and FALSE IN THE STOCK MARKETS does not need to be configured as a Scam carried out to commit a crime since what the Republic of Panama understood as a protected legal asset in this case is the veracity of what is published in the Panamanian Securities Markets and the confidence of investors in making their investments in our markets.

Let us remember that a private document containing false information by itself does not constitute a crime. However, if it is published in the Stock Market as an investment offer, and this in its body asserts false information, then the mere existence of it, within this investment advertising channel, does not constitute a crime.

Frequent Questions

Is False Information in a Private Document a Crime of False Documentation?

It depends, its existence by itself is not always a crime. It is configured as a crime when the false document is used to achieve a legal effect or affects the decision-making of other people.

Is there a crime for falsifying the Financial Statements of a Company?

Yes, because the rule has a protected legal right the veracity of the information that is the basis of the confidence of investors, interested third parties, to make their investments in the markets.

What are the requirements to configure the Crime of Document Forgery or -crime of Falsification of Documents?

For a crime of Document Forgery or documentary or ideological falsity to be configured, the following requirements must be met:

1. The false document must be inserted in the commercial or legal tract of the Republic of Panama.

2. The false document must be made available as evidence (example: public deeds or certificates issued by the competent authority to carry out a certain activity, suitability).

3. The false document must have been the one that misled the victim in a “sine quanon” manner.

A document is considered legitimate as long as it comes from the author or the competent authority to issue it, on the other hand, a document is true if it expresses in its content what is true. The teacher in criminal dogmatics and General Theory of Crime, Muñoz Conde, rightly asserted “Attacks on the legitimacy or authenticity of the document always constitute a typical fact of falsehood, while its veracity is only criminally protected in a more fragmented way, since it does not everyone has the duty to guarantee that what is expressed in a document corresponds to the truth”.

Abogado de Falsificación de Documentos, Panamá

If you are interested in our services as criminal lawyers or would like to talk to us, we invite you to contact us.