Minnesota law defines forgery as knowingly using a false writing to cause injury or fraud. To be charged with any form of forgery, the prosecution must prove that you had the intent to defraud or cause harm.
Forgery can take many forms and is not limited to the traditional faking of documents or falsifying signatures. The most common types of forgery in Minnesota include but are not limited to: (1) falsely making or altering any membership card or using the membership card of another person; (2) placing any false label on merchandise of another; (3) destroying any document or falsifying any document owned by a private business; and (4) destroying any document relating to a legal trial or hearing.
Minnesota Forgery Attorney
If you were charged with forgery in Minnesota, you need the knowledge of an experienced Dakota County criminal defense at your disposal. As a former prosecutor, defense lawyer James Blumberg at James Blumberg Law knows how to identify the weaknesses in these cases, and he will work tirelessly to have these charges reduced or completely dismissed.
James Blumberg Law serves clients throughout Dakota County, including Apple Valley, Eagan, Lakeville, Burnsville, Rosemount, Farmington, Inver Grove Heights and West St. Paul. Call (952) 431-7758 to schedule a free consultation as soon as possible.
- What Kind Of Crime Is Forgery?
- What Are The Penalties For Forgery?
- What Are The Defenses To A Charge Of Forgery?
- Statute Of Limitations For A Forgery Charge
- Additional Resources
Minnesota law is stringent when it comes to prosecuting forgery charges. Minnesota has three distinct forgery offenses: (1) forgery, (2) aggravated forgery, and (3) check forgery.
The prosecution brings aggravated forgery charges when the forgery involves a more serious subject matter. For example, aggravated forgery charges will likely be considered when the forgery involves the falsification of (1) government documents, (2) public records, (3) a private corporation’s official seal, or (4) a private individual’s bank account.
In addition to common forgery and aggravated forgery, someone can be found guilty of check forgery. There are four common types of check forgery: (1) falsifying a signature on a check for financial gain; (2) using a check knowing there are insufficient funds in the account; (3) using a check knowing the bank account has been closed; or (4) issuing a check with from a fake bank account.
Generally, any type of forgery is a felony charge. As such, it is essential to find a Minnesota attorney who specializes in defending forgery charges.
Minnesota law provides strict penalties for anyone convicted of forgery. If you are convicted of general forgery, you could face up to three years in jail. In addition to possible jail time, the prosecution can seek fines up to $5,000.00. If the accused is charged with an aggravated felony, they could face up to ten years in jail and fines that can range up to $20,000.00. However, in cases where the forgery involves the destruction or falsification of evidence in a criminal trial, the accused can face up to five years in prison and a fine of up to $10,000.00. A check forgery conviction can result in a severe penalty that includes up to 20 years in prison and a fine of up to $100,000.00.
Remember that a forgery felony offense will remain on an individual’s permanent record and make it challenging to secure a job or higher education. Further, Minnesota landlords may refuse to rent their property to anyone with a conviction on their record. Forgery offenses can have a severe impact on a person’s life, which can range from future employment to future housing. Anyone facing forgery charges should be sure to seek the help of an experienced Minnesota attorney specializing in forgery defense.
Despite the severe nature of forgery charges, some defenses may be used to protect someone from being convicted of forgery. It is important to note that although some defenses cannot wholly eliminate liability, they may reduce the charge to a lesser offense and reduce the severity of the penalty.
Forgery is a specific intent crime. This means that the prosecution needs to prove that the defendant had the knowledge and intent to defraud the victim or cause injury. An experienced forgery defense attorney will know how to challenge the intent requirement and challenge the prosecution.
Some defenses to forgery are as follows:
Insanity – When claiming insanity, the attorney will argue that the individual could not understand the nature and consequences of their actions.
Intoxication – Similar to insanity, when claiming the defense of intoxication, the attorney will argue that the defendant was so intoxicated that it prevented them from understanding right from wrong. As a result, they could not form the intent to commit the crime.
Ignorance – To be convicted of forgery, an individual must be aware that their actions are a crime, and they are knowingly attempting to defraud or cause injury. Using the defense of ignorance, an attorney will attempt to reduce the sentence by arguing that the defendant was unaware that what they did was wrong.
Lack of Intent – Lack of intent means the individual did not intend to defraud or harm someone. Therefore, it is impossible to be charged with forgery because forgery requires the intent to defraud or cause harm.
Statute of Limitations – If the forgery has taken place and the statute of limitations has run, the attorney can use the statute of limitations as a defense.
Remember that Minnesota is known to prosecute forgery allegations aggressively, so hiring an attorney specializing in forgery defense is extremely important. Attorneys specializing in forgery defense have experience in using defenses to challenge the allegations.
A statute of limitation is a statute that provides a deadline for bringing a legal claim after the incident occurred. The victim of a forgery has up to five years to report the offense and bring charges against the defendant. After this deadline expires, the state cannot charge the individual because the appropriate statute of limitation has run.
Minnesota Department of Public Safety – The Minnesota Department of Public Safety provides a table of offense codes that allows for the easy identification of offense types and penalties associated with that particular crime.
Minnesota Penal Code Chapter 609 Section 63 – The Minnesota Statute website describes the legal definitions of forgery and the penalties associated with a conviction.
Apple Valley Forgery Attorney | Dakota County, Minnesota
If you were arrested for forgery, contact James Blumberg Law. Criminal defense lawyer James Blumberg at James Blumberg Law has have defended numerous clients charged with white collar crimes by successfully utilizing his skills, resources, extensive network, and vast experience. With his help, you may be able to reduce your charges or get them dismissed entirely.