FORGERY IN THE SECOND DEGREE
(FALSELY OBTAINING SIGNATURES) - 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:
Second, the signature of another;
Third, to a writing having legal significance;
Fourth, by a false representation concerning the kind of writing signed.
Statutory Authority: 21 O.S. 1991, § 1593.
Section 1592 has been interpreted by the courts to cover the situation wherein a person is tricked into signing an instrument different from the instrument the person intended to sign. Brashears v. State, 38 Okl. Cr. 175, 259 P. 665 (1927) (defendant got another to agree to sign an oil and gas lease but substituted a warranty deed as the instrument that the other actually signed). See also Woolridge v. Powers, 178 Okl. 56, 61 P.2d 734 (1936); First Nat'l Bank and Trust Co. v. United States Fidelity and Guaranty Co., 347 F.2d 945 (1Oth Cir. 1965).
The crime created by section 1593 should be distinguished from the crime created by 21 O.S. 1991, § 1541.1, the crime of false-pretenses. Under section 1541.1, the crime has been committed when a person signs a written instrument with knowledge of what he is signing, but does so in response to a false representation. An example of the crime defined in section 1541.1 would be a situation where a person signs over title to a car, knowing he is signing a title certificate, in exchange for a coin the defendant has falsely represented as a rare and a valuable coin. Of course, in this last example, the defendant must also know that the representation is false and make the representation with intent to defraud. See generally, R. Perkins, Criminal Law 348-50 (2d ed. 1969).