Were you recently arrested for forgery? You may be wondering how seriously to take this charge. After all, using a fake ID or selling a pair of knockoff Nikes may not seem like a big deal. But you should know that any forgery charge can lead to time in prison and hefty fines, regardless of your intentions at the time of the alleged crime.
It’s also important to know that there are three different types of forgery charges in Minnesota. These charges are based on the specifics of your alleged actions, but each comes with a punishment that should be taken seriously and avoided at all costs. Here’s more on the three different forgery charges in Minnesota and what you can do to steer clear of a conviction.
When prosecuting a forgery or aggravated forgery charge, prosecutors must show that there was criminal intent behind defrauding a person or entity. Many actions may fall into this category, including:
- Using a false identifying document like a drivers license
- Presenting merchandise for sale that isn’t what you have presented it to be- for example, using misleading packaging
- Altering or falsifying an airplane, train, or bus ticket
- Falsifying or destroying a public record or a document that relates to a person or business
- The intentional destruction of evidence to keep it from being used in court
If you are convicted of forgery, you may be sentenced to up to three years in prison, ordered to pay a fine of up to $5,000, or some combination of the two. Forgery charges on your record can also make it very difficult to secure future employment. The conviction will show up on background checks, and you may be required to disclose the information on job and housing applications.
An aggravated forgery charge is similar to forgery, but it is more severe because it concerns documents that are more official in nature, such as bank records, public records, court judgments, and official seals. Since it deals with official documents, an aggravated forgery charge can lead to a sentence of up to 10 years in prison and/or up to $20,000 in fines. The government and prosecutors take this charge very seriously, and so should you.
Check forgery is a common kind of forgery that people may use for financial gain. Check forgery charges most commonly come about when a person is alleged to have forged someone’s signature on a check, which may also lead to an identity theft charge. Check forgery can also refer to using a check when you are aware there are no funds in the account or using a check from an account that is already closed. Producing fraudulent checks or using checks that correspond to a fictional bank account may also lead to a charge of check forgery.
A conviction for check forgery carries a hefty punishment – up to 20 years in prison or a $100,000 fine, based on the cost of the property or services that were obtained with the forged check. Sadly, even after they complete their sentence, defendants may have trouble adjusting to regular life. Many employers are especially hesitant to hire employees who have been convicted of check forgery because they are concerned the individual may attempt some sort of financial crime in the workplace. Landlords also don’t look favorably on a forgery conviction and may refuse to rent to anyone with a record.
We know that many defendants who are facing a theft crime like a forgery charge may have simply made a poor decision during a tough time in their life. Sieben Edmunds Miller‘s Minnesota criminal defense attorneys work with clients who have been unfairly accused of forgery to clear their name. If you are found guilty of your charge, we want to fight for a fair punishment on your behalf. Don’t allow a judge and prosecutor to disregard your rights or hand out an unfair sentence. Hire out attorneys to help you fight your forgery charge.