Forging a document or credentials can land you serious trouble in Minnesota and in pretty much any state throughout the US. It may not seem like a big deal to fudge some numbers or create a fake membership card to avoid having to pay, but it can cause major headaches for your personal and professional life. In today’s blog, we take a closer look at the crime of forgery in Minnesota.
The Types Of Forgery In Minnesota
Forgery crimes are grouped into one of three classifications in Minnesota. Here’s a closer look at each:
A standard forgery charges is issued when an individual does any of the following:
- Intentionally using a fabricated document, such as a driver’s license, for identification or recommendation purposes;
- Counterfeiting currency;
- Intentionally placing an altered identifying label on a product to present it as a different product;
- Falsely creating or altering a membership card for any association;
- Intentionally falsifying or destroying any document associated with an individual or business;
- Intentionally falsifying or destroying a document or another piece of evidence to prevent it from bring used in the court of law; and
- Falsely creating or altering a bus, train, or airplane ticket.
If you are convicted of forgery, you’ll face the possibility of up to three years in jail, fines up to $5,000, or a combination of the two.
A forgery charged can be upgraded to aggravated forgery if certain factors are present. For example, the forgery involved official documents, like court orders, bank records, public records or official organization seals, your charge could be upgraded.
Aggravated forgery is also pursued if the official documents are used in an attempt to defraud another party or entity. If you alter a birth certificate or try to pass off a forged medical license with official seals, you can be hit with an aggravated forgery charge. This charge is much more serious, and is punishable by up to 10 years in prison and fines up to $20,000.
The final form of forgery in Minnesota is check forgery. As the name implies, this occurs when an individual attempts to pass off a forged check for monetary reasons. Faking someone’s signature on a check, altering a check (like trying to increase the amount it was written for) or knowingly writing bad checks can earn a check forgery charge.
The potential punishments for check forgery will depend on the amount of money that was at stake. If you wrote or attempted to collect more than $35,000 in bad checks, you can face up to $100,000 in fines and up to 20 years in jail. For sums between $2,500-$35,000, you can face up to $20,000 in fines and up to 10 years in jail. For sums between $250-$2,500, you will face penalties laid out in the forgery section. Sums under $250 will be treated as a gross misdemeanor, publishable by up to a year in jail and fines up to $3,000.
Forgery crimes can also have significant consequences for your professional career, so it’s imperative that you fight any charges in court with a lawyer by your side. They’ll know how to put forth the right defense and give you the best chance at beating the charges. For more information about the crime of forgery in Minnesota, or to talk to a lawyer about a different legal issue, reach out to the team at Appelman Law Firm today at (952) 224-2277.