FORGERY IN THE SECOND DEGREE
(COUNTERFEITING BANK NOTE PLATES) - ELEMENTS
No person may be convicted of forgery in the second degree unless the State has proved beyond a reasonable doubt each element of the crime. These elements are:
First, making/engraving/(causing to be made/engraved);
Second, without authority;
Third, a plate of a (promissory note)/(bill of exchange)/draft/check/(certificate of deposit)/(evidence of debt);
Fourth, issued by a bank;
Fifth, with the intent to use/(permit it to be used) for the purpose of taking therefrom any impression to be passed/sold/altered.
Statutory Authority: 21 O.S. 1991, § 1575.
The crimes created by sections 1583 and 1584 are very similar in their elements to the crimes created by the statutes discussed under forgery in the first degree and prior second-degree forgery crimes. The Commission did not classify sections 1583 and 1584 under the earlier instructions because making false coins is generally thought of as a distinct crime called "counterfeiting," rather than the crime of forgery. Sections 1583 and 1584 are forgery crimes, however, because of the mens rea element indicated in the third element. In addition, since no Oklahoma cases have construed these two sections, it seemed more appropriate to deal with the sections separately to avoid cluttering the discussion of the forgery statutes normally used in Oklahoma.
Section 1588 creates a "classic" counterfeiting crime, i.e., making a false stamp. Whether the maker intends the stamp as a joke or as a specimen of his artistic skills, he has committed a crime. Section 1588 has never been construed in Oklahoma for the probable reason that the federal government has the paramount interest in protecting the manufacture of currency and stamps.
Section 1575 also seems to create a counterfeiting crime whereby the authority of a bank to issue certain types of documents is protected. Section 1576 is a definitional statute that indicates when a plate has sufficient resemblance to an authorized plate so as to come within the prohibition of section 1575. No Oklahoma cases have construed sections 1575 and 1576.