FELONY FORGERY NOT CHARGED – State v. Mr. M (DMC No. 14209) (Yavapai County Sheriff’s Office Search Warrant No. 2014-000001): Mr. M’s mother rented a guest home that was located on her property. After the tenant of this guest home passed away, police began investigating suspicious signatures made on checks purported to be signed by the tenant that postdated the tenant’s death. They initially contacted Mr. M’s mother to obtain handwriting exemplars. After obtaining that, they contacted Mr. M indicating they want handwriting exemplars from him as well regarding potential Forgery allegations per Arizona Revised Statute ARS 13-2002. After being contacted by police, Mr. M contacted our office. Once our services were retained, I met with the Pre-Charge team and decided the actions that would be taken including contacting the Detective, submitting a Trebus letter to the Yavapai County Attorney’s Office, and having our client submit to a polygraph examination.
Immediately upon being retained, we reached out to the Detective. The Detective indicated she had a warrant to obtain our client’s handwriting exemplars. We arranged a time for Mr. M to meet at the police department to provide the samples. That same day, we scheduled a polygraph examination for our client, however, that polygraph examination was never completed. We then accompanied Mr. M to the police department for the execution of the handwriting exemplar search warrant. During that meeting we obtained the name of the County Attorney who was involved. Approximately two weeks later we prepared and submitted a detailed Trebus/Bashir letter to the Yavapai County Attorney’s Office and the Detective. Later, we spoke with the Detective, who indicated the exemplars came back showing he was the writer of the checks. She indicated she was submitting charges for Forgery and Fraudulent Schemes. The Detective refused to issue a summons, however she agreed to a self-surrender date. We accompanied our client to the self-surrender and obtained an Own Recognizance release. Despite the Detective requesting that our client be charged with the crime, the Yavapai County Attorney’s Office, likely based on the information presented in our Trebus/Bashir letter, declined to file prosecution.