Four Minneapolis Forgery Attorneys, One Powerful Law Firm
How Can Our Forgery Attorneys in Minneapolis Help You?
ID Forgery/Identity Theft
Many people equate forgery with a false signature on a document. But in Minnesota, this offense is much broader. Using or possessing a forged instrument is illegal. Destroying or mutilating a document is also forgery. Since almost all these offenses are felonies, the possible consequences are quite severe.
Forgery is generally a technical crime, so at Gerald Miller P.A., we concentrate on technical defenses. Furthermore, we aggressively challenge the state’s evidence. This combination typically produces results which exceed our clients’ expectations.
In a nutshell, ordinary forgery is altering a document in any way with the intent to defraud another person. Common infractions include:
- Imitating someone else’s signature,
- Signing a person’s name without that person’s permission,
- Changing a label or a provision in an agreement,
- Possessing a forged instrument (intent to defraud is sometimes difficult to prove in these cases),
- Destroying a document, and
- Using a forged instrument.
With the exception of possession cases and possibly a few others, these matters are relatively easy to prove in court for a practiced Minneapolis Forgery Defense Lawyer. The forgery itself is usually rather easy to spot, if jurors look carefully. And, circumstantial evidence is admissible on the intent element.
Fortunately, forgery is a non-violent crime. So, there are a number of possible successful resolutions available.
The crime of aggravated forgery is more serious than ordinary forgery. Aggravated offenses usually involve high-authority documents, such as:
- Bank records,
- Court orders, and
- Loan documents.
Court orders, particularly family court orders, are among the most common aggravated forgery cases. Most of these documents have multiple pages. Many people are tempted to alter a couple of sentences or financial figures in the body of the order and attach the altered order to the judge’s signature page.
Aggravated forgery cases are a bit more difficult to resolve than ordinary forgery matters. That’s especially true with regard to court or other official document forgeries. Some judges take these cases personally, even if the order was from another court. Whether it is a case of ordinary forgery or aggravated forgery, it is best to hire a Minneapolis Forgery Defense Lawyer. Depending on your case facts, they will help protect your rights and defend your charges vigorously.
Even with the upsurge in electronic payments, there are still a lot of paper checks out there. Large companies often use paper checks, especially for payroll and other large expenditures, because they leave more of a paper trail. So, Hennepin County financial fraud investigators are always on the lookout for the following schemes:
- Check kiting,
- Counterfeiting, and
- Fraudulent alteration.
Check kiting is writing insufficient checks from multiple accounts hoping that the accounts will have sufficient funds when the bank receives the check. Check kiting is also known as check floating. Fraudulent alteration often involves check washing, which is using chemicals to erase ink and then filling in the blanks.
ID Forgery/Identity Theft
Generally, photo identification forgery is a gross misdemeanor in Minnesota, assuming the document is state issued, like a drivers’ license or identity card, or privately issued, like an ID badge. Passport forgery is a very serious federal crime.
Frequently Asked Questions
Once the court process begins, only a judge or prosecutor can stop it. The judge might throw out a case due to lack of evidence and prosecutors have broad discretion to voluntarily dismiss cases. Witnesses, including forgery witnesses, cannot “drop” criminal charges.
Yes. Forgery is altering a document with the intent to defraud another person. The possible penalties are rather severe. However, since forgery is a non-violent crime, a successful pretrial resolution is possible.
Ordinary forgery, aggravated forgery, and identity theft are the three main types of forgery. Ordinary forgery is falsifying an everyday document, like a membership card or manufacturers identifying label on a product. Aggravated forgery is altering an official document, like a court order or bank record. Identity theft is stealing someone else’s personal information.
Depending on the nature of the infraction, usually the amount of money involved, forgery could mean up to ten years in prison.
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