State of Washington v. Vasquez

This court case is completed

The ACLU-WA filed an amicus brief in the Washington state Supreme Court, urging it to reverse defendant’s conviction for forgery.  The case began when a store security guard stopped Mr. Vasquez for using hand lotion; the guard searched Mr. Vasquez’s pockets, pulled out his wallet, and found two false ID cards.  Mr. Vasquez admitted that the cards were him, but did not try to use them or pass them off as true.  Ms. Vasquez was convicted of forgery, which requires possession of a false ID with intent to defraud.  In its brief, the ACLU-WA argued that the court of appeals was wrong to review the case for “substantial” evidence of intent to defraud, because a conviction requires proof beyond a reasonable doubt.  We also argued that simple possession of a false instrument is not enough to prove intent to defraud.  The state Supreme Court unanimously agreed, reversing Mr. Vasquez’s conviction and holding that the state presented insufficient proof of intent to defraud.