Historically, the criminal offense of forgery was limited the creation or alteration of a false writing in an effort to commit fraud. Under the common law, the attempt to make unlawful use of these fraudulent writings was known as “uttering“. Over time, many states including Minnesota largely combined the offense of uttering into the offense of forgery itself.
That said, Minnesota law still make specific mention of the act of uttering or possessing a forged writing. Like in all states, the consequences of making fraudulent use of a forged writing carries penalties similar to those that come with creating these documents. Often, these penalties can be severe.
If you have been accused of forging or uttering a document, it is vital that you seek legal counsel right away. Every day you delay speaking with an attorney is another day the state has to build a case against you. Talk to a Minneapolis forgery charges lawyer from Gerald Miller today for more information.
Understanding What Uttering Forgery in Minnesota Means
The offense of forgery is governed by Minnesota Statute Section 609.63. While the statute makes no mention of the term “uttering,” the law encompasses more than simply manufacturing a falsified document. There seven unique ways the state can make a case for forgery, including:
- 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 and Uttering Forged Documents in MN
When it comes to the offense of aggravated forgery, the act of uttering is specifically mentioned. This offense is governed by Minnesota Statute Section 609.625. the bulk of the statute is related to the making or altering of a written document or object. However, Subdivision 3 of the statute directly addresses uttering. It is unlawful to utter or possess with intent to utter any forged item, document, or object. Upon a conviction, you could face the same penalties associated with aggravated forgery in general.
The penalty for aggravated forgery or uttering is steep. Under the law, you could face as much as 10 years of imprisonment in a state penitentiary upon conviction. Additionally, you could also be required to pay a fine of as much as $20,000. The court also has the power to assess a combination of fines and jail time as well as any restitution that might be warranted given the circumstances.
Discuss Your Minnesota Forgery Case with Gerald Miller
Forgery and uttering charges have the potential to bring life-altering consequences upon a conviction. This is especially true in cases of aggravated forgery. If you have been accused of uttering a forged instrument, it is vital that you seek legal counsel as soon as possible. Your attorney could help you evaluate the strength of the case against you and develop the strongest defense possible.
The attorney of Gerald Miller have experience in developing defense strategies for allegations of forgery. Whether you are accused of forging the document or uttering a forgery, the right defense approach could result in your acquittal. Schedule your free initial consultation with Gerald Miller to get started.