Is Forgery a Felony in Buffalo, Minnesota?

Forgery is perhaps one of the oldest criminal activities that has been around for centuries. Contrary to popular belief, forgery is related to more than just artwork. It often involves creating and using fake goods, documents, and money, and presenting them as genuine ones with the intention of deceiving someone. These crimes fall under the white-collar crimes’ category.

Over the years, forgers have laid their eyes on almost everything that is valuable, including artwork, literature, contracts, identification cards, legal certificates, documents, monetary instruments, and historical artifacts. Different states have different laws to protect their residents from crimes involving forgery.

For example, in Buffalo Minnesota, forgery and counterfeiting are treated differently even though they are similar in nature. The state will levy a forgery charge if you create a fake document, but you will be tried under counterfeiting if you are involved in creating fake money or distributing it.

Let’s look at how Buffalo Minnesota treats the crime of forgery.

Is Forgery a Felony in Buffalo Minnesota?

The short answer is yes!

In fact, in almost all cases, a forgery charge is a felony-level crime in Buffalo Minnesota. In other words, you will face serious consequences if you are involved in a crime of forgery or counterfeiting. Depending on the crime, you may also face an aggravated forgery charge, requiring you to spend years behind bars.

However, the state or prosecutor must prove that the forgery was committed with the intention to defraud a person or an entity like a business, or a private or government organization. The purpose of this rule is to protect those who were in possession of fraudulent documents or goods without knowing they are fake.

Let’s understand how this law works in Buffalo Minnesota.

Forgery versus Aggravated Forgery

When it comes to forgery and counterfeiting, laws in Buffalo Minnesota are broken down into Forgery and Aggravated Forgery.

  • Forgery

In Buffalo Minnesota, forgery involves using false documents or goods to defraud a person. If you have committed any of the following actions, you are likely to get slapped with a forgery charge:

    • Using a falsified recommendation or identification with intention to defraud someone or something
    • Destroying a falsified document, goods, artwork, or literature illegally
    • Using a trade or business label of one entity on another’s merchandise or product is also considered forgery. So, if you buy a printer manufactured by ABC brand and sell it with XYZ brand’s label without their consent, you are likely to be charged with a forgery crime
    • Creating or knowingly possessing a fake membership or identification card can also land you in hot water

Penalties for Forgery

If found guilty, you will be charged with a fine of up to $5000 or a prison sentence of to up to three years or both. However, in certain circumstances, the court may increase your sentence.

For example, if the forged good or document was presented as evidence in a trial or a court proceeding, you could end up with a fine of up to $10000 or the court may sentence you to up to five years in prison or both.

  • Aggravated Forgery 

Aggravated forgery occurs if you alter or falsify an object or document knowingly and with the intention to defraud a person or an entity. It is a felony offense in Buffalo Minnesota.

The reasons why you will be charge with this felony include, but are not limited to:

    • Documents that render legal rights like official seals, badges, or identifications
    • Public records and government documents (federal, state, and local)
    • Court records, documents, and orders
    • Possessing an instrument that you can or have used to create a forged document or artwork or goods
    • Falsifying bank records of a person or an entity receiving government aid or funding
    • Falsifying account records of a public officer or entity

Penalties for Aggravated Forgery

The court could sentence you to up to ten years of imprisonment or a fine of up to $20,000 or both.

  • Check Fraud Is Most Common

Although forgery is common, the layman is rarely involved in art theft. One of the most common forgery crimes is check fraud, which involves using checks to withdraw funds illegally from someone’s bank account. Writing forged or worthless or fraud checks is a criminal offense in Buffalo Minnesota.

Writing a bad check involves writing a check for the amount that exceeds the available clearing balance in your bank account. Writing another check from a different bank account to falsely inflate the balance to clear the first check results in check kiting offense.

Check washing, which involves stealing a check in transit and then forging it to withdraw money is also a punishable white-collar offense with serious legal consequences.

Check forgery involves changing the name of the borrower on a genuine check, creating counterfeit checks, and forging the signature of an account holder. Just like any other forgery charge, you can face a fine and even a prison sentence for a check fraud.

  • Work with a Forgery Defense Attorney

Unfortunately, most check forgeries are made in distressful financial situations. So, facing a criminal charge on the top of that can put you and your loved ones in real bad shape. That’s why it is essential that you talk to a forgery defense attorney immediately.

There are many ways to recover from a forgery charge like check fraud. For example, if the state or prosecutor fails to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that you knew the check would be dishonored, you may be able to recover from the charges.

Another way to reduce the penalties is to prove that you didn’t know it was a forged check. However, you will need a good forgery defense lawyer on your side, who can look for potential legal options as soon as possible.

Depending on the circumstances of your case such as the amount of forgery and the evidence, an experienced felony forgery attorney can help you get a fair settlement or even get the charges dropped.

Conclusion

Both forgery and aggravated forgery are felony-level offenses in Buffalo, Minnesota. So, whether you are dealing with a check forgery charge or the legal consequences for forging a power of attorney document, you are likely to face a sizable fine or even a prison sentence. 

Contact Our Felony Lawyer in Buffalo Minnesota

If you are facing a forgery charge and need reliable legal assistance, we can help. Talk to us now at (855) 215-6862 or contact us online!

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Buffalo Lawyers

215 East Highway 55, Suite 201
Buffalo, MN 55313

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Phone: (612) 800-8057
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Brainerd Lawyers

17025 Commercial Park Rd, Suite 2
Brainerd, MN 56401

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Phone: (218) 736-9429
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Hutchinson Lawyers

114 Main Street North
Hutchinson, MN 55350

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Phone: (320) 289-4761
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Minnetonka Lawyers

3911 Ridgedale Dr, Suite 404E
Minnetonka, MN 55305

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Phone: (952) 260-9640
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