Is Forgery a Felony in Minnesota?
There are two types of forgery offenses under Minnesota law: forgery and aggravated forgery. If you’re asking is forgery a felony in Minnesota, you might not already know the difference. Most of the time, these charges are considered to be felonies. Prosecutors take forgery allegations seriously, and you can count on an aggressive prosecution if you are arrested on these charges.
The good news is that forgery claims are often defensible. It is not uncommon for the police to make an arrest for forgery based on a genuine misunderstanding. While any felony arrest is concerning, the attorney of Gerald Miller could help you fight back against a forgery charge.
Forgery Is a Felony Offense in Minnesota
Forgery is generally treated as a felony in Minnesota. Upon a conviction, you could face as much as three years in state prison, a fine of no more than $5,000, or a combination of the two. The court has wide latitude on how to determine the sentence for a forgery conviction. The penalties for a forgery conviction increase in cases that involve the use of forged evidence in a felony trial. If convicted under these circumstances, you could face up to five years in prison and a fine of no more than $10,000.
There is also latitude for the prosecutor on how to approach this offense. Instead of a broad statute designed to cover an array of criminal acts, Minnesota forgery laws set out seven specific acts that qualify as forgery. They include:
- uses a false writing, knowing it to be false, for the purpose of identification or recommendation; or
- without consent, places, or possesses with intent to place, upon any merchandise an identifying label or stamp which is or purports to be that of another craftsperson, tradesperson, packer, or manufacturer, or disposes or possesses with intent to dispose of any merchandise so labeled or stamped; or
- falsely makes or alters a membership card purporting to be that of a fraternal, business, professional, or other association, or of any labor union, or possesses any such card knowing it to have been thus falsely made or altered; or
- falsely makes or alters a writing, or possesses a falsely made or altered writing, evidencing a right to transportation on a common carrier; or
- destroys, mutilates, or by alteration, false entry or omission, falsifies any record, account, or other document relating to a private business; or
- without authority of law, destroys, mutilates, or by alteration, false entry, or omission, falsifies any record, account, or other document relating to a person, corporation, or business, or filed in the office of, or deposited with, any public office or officer; or
- destroys a writing or object to prevent it from being produced at a trial, hearing, or other proceeding authorized by law.
Aggravated Forgery Offense in Minnesota
Like standard forgery, aggravated forgery is also considered a felony under state law. That said, the penalties for aggravated forgery are much higher. A conviction can lead to a prison term of up to ten years, a fine of no more than $20,000, or a combination of the two.
Proving aggravated forgery typically requires the fabrication of official documentation. This offense is typically reserved for efforts to forge government documents including court orders or other public records. It also covers the attempt to create or fraudulently alter corporate seals, bank records, or certificates. It is likewise a violation to possess these documents with the intent to use them to defraud another person. Finally, aggravated forgery also covers the possession of items intended to make these false reproductions.
Discuss Your Forgery Case With Gerald Miller
Forgery charges can cover a wide range of conduct. From fake paintings to forged public records, this offense is generally treated harshly by state prosecutors. Unfortunately, many forgery cases also stem from simple misunderstandings. If you’re asking is forgery a felony in Minnesota, you might want to seek counsel.
It is not uncommon for a person to face a criminal charge for an item they did not know was forged. Proving to the prosecution that you were unaware of the authenticity of the item or document in question can be difficult without the guidance of an experienced attorney.
The lawyers of Gerald Miller understand the ins and outs of forgery cases in Minnesota. If you have been arrested, do not delay in seeking the legal counsel you deserve. Call right away to set up your initial consultation for free.