No matter what they are specifically for, forgery charges are always serious and a conviction brings with it serious consequences for your future. If you’re facing forgery charges, it is imperative to discuss your case with an experienced Minnesota criminal defense attorney as soon as possible.
The Three Types of Forgery
In the state of Minnesota, forgeries are classified into three main categories:
● Forgery and Aggravated Forgery – Falsifying or altering a document
● Check Forgery – falsifying or altering a check
● Counterfeit Currency – Creating counterfeit money or another form of financial obligation
Forgery and Aggravated Forgery
A forgery charge is applied when there is criminal intent behind defrauding another person or entity by doing any of the following:
● Intentionally using a false document for purposes of recommendation or identification; for example, a fake driver’s license
● Intentionally dressing merchandise falsely in an effort to present the merchandise as something other than what it actually is
● Intentionally falsifying or altering a membership card for a business, labor union, or any other kind of association, or possessing such a falsified card
● Intentionally falsifying or altering a ticket for a common carrier, such as an airplane, train, or bus
● Intentionally falsifying, destroying, or mutilating a record, account, or any other kind of document that relates to a person or business or is filed in a public office
● Intentionally destroying evidence to keep it from being produced in court
Aggravated forgery refers to the same type of actions as forgery, but the documents involved are more official in nature, including:
● Official seals
● Public records
● Court judgments, orders, or decrees
● Bank records
Check forgery is a common type of forgery that refers to intentionally:
● Forging someone else’s signature on a check. The type of check forgery charge may also be paired with an identity theft charge as well.
● Using a check when there aren’t enough funds in the account to back it up.
● Using a check from an account that is closed, frozen, otherwise inaccessible, or doesn’t exist at all.
● Producing fraudulent checks by either ordering them or manufacturing them. This can also be paired with an identity theft charge.
● Altering checks by fraudulently modifying them, such as altering the amount of money listed on the check.
The Penalties Faced
For a forgery charge, an individual can be sentenced to up to 3 years in prison, a monetary fine up to $5,000, or a combination of the two. For an aggravated forgery charge, an individual can be sentenced up to 10 years in prison, a monetary fine up to $20,000, or a combination of the two.
Af you are facing forgery charges, you face serious penalties that can have a lasting negative effect on your future. A forgery charge can:
● Make it very difficult o secure employment. Employers are often reluctant or refuse to hire individuals convicted of forgery charges.
● Decrease your earning potential in the future.
● Severely hamper your ability to support your family.
● Permanently tarnish your social standing.
● Inflict damage to your relationships with family members, loved ones, and friends.
● Cause you to lose your professional licensure.
● Diminish your educational opportunities and render you ineligible for many student loans.
● Seriously limit your ability to rent a home. Like employers, landlords frequently decline housing applications of convicted criminals.
If the forgery in question involves currency in Minnesota, the charge is counterfeiting. Counterfeiting refers to intentionally defrauding by falsely making, altering, printing, scanning, or copying any United States currency, postal money order, or Federal Reserve note (or any other kind of obligation or security), and attempting to pass the counterfeit notes off as genuine through purchases and transactions. The penalties associated with counterfeiting convictions are more severe than other forgery convictions, with sentences up to 20 years in prison, a monetary fine up to $100,000, or a combination of the two.
Discuss Your Case with an Experienced Minnesota Criminal Defense Attorney Today
You need professional legal counsel on your side when facing forgery charges, and the formidable criminal defense attorneys at Gerald Miller in Minneapolis have successfully defended the forgery cases of many clients like you. Our dedicated legal team is committed to tirelessly fighting for your legal rights, so please don’t hesitate to contact or call us at 612-440-3212 today.