Detroit Forgery Lawyer
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Michigan deals harshly with people convicted of committing forgery. Even though the crime of forgery does not involve violence, the penalties for it are just as harsh as for some violent crimes. In addition to the prison sentences and fines mandated by the Michigan Penal Code, you may also have to compensate the victims under the laws of criminal restitution. Furthermore, the victims can use your conviction as evidence in a civil trial against you to recover damages.
In short, being convicted of a fraud offense like forgery can turn your life upside down. That’s why it’s essential to hire a skilled and dedicated Detroit forgery lawyer as soon as you are charged. At Davis Law Group, we’re dedicated to helping our clients to overcome their criminal charges so that they can get their lives back on track.
Forgery of Public Documents
§ 750.248 of the Michigan Penal Code concerns the forgery of public records. The statute prohibits falsely making, forging, or altering any of the following public documents with the intent to injure or defraud:
- Public records, certificates, and attestations from a court clerk, register of deeds, notary public, township clerk, or any other public officer
- Will or testament
- Letter of attorney
- Insurance policy
- Bill of lading or of exchange
- Promissory note
- Acquaintance of discharge for money or for property
- Waiver, release, claim, or demand
- Acceptance, endorsement, or assignment of bill of exchange or promissory note
- Accountable receipt for money, goods, or other property
The penalty for committing this felony may be as high as 14 years imprisonment.
Penalties for Forging or Possessing Counterfeit Notes or Bills
Michigan Penal Code §750.250 applies specifically to the forgery of notes or bonds issued for the debt of a state or municipality with the intent to defraud or injure. The maximum sentence for committing this felony is 7 years imprisonment.
The penalty for forging bank bills and notes issued by any political authority in The United States or Canada with the intent to defraud or injure can reach 7 years imprisonment, as provided by §750.251 of the Michigan Penal Code.
If you get caught with 10 or more counterfeit notes with the intent to present them as true, you may be charged with violating §750.252, which carries a maximum sentence of 7 years imprisonment.
The penalty for using or passing off as true a counterfeit bill or note is provided by Michigan Penal Code §750.253. The penalty may reach 5 years imprisonment or a fine of up to $2,500.
§750.255 provides a maximum sentence of 10 years imprisonment or a $5,000 fine for committing the felony of making or possessing the tools necessary to forge or create counterfeit notes, certificates or bills of credit of any state or province in the United States or Canada.
Forging Financial Transaction Devices
§750.248a makes it a felony to utter and publish—in other words, to present—as true a false, forged, altered or counterfeit financial transaction device with the intent to defraud another person. A financial transaction device is the legal term used in Michigan for credit and debit cards.
If you get caught casting, stamping, engraving, making or mending a FTD, you may be charged with a felony under §750.249a. This section also makes it illegal to knowingly possess a mold, pattern, die, puncheon, engine, press, or any other tool adapted to the forging of FTDs.
Forging Documents Related to Real Estate
Michigan Penal Code § 750.248b provides for a maximum sentence of 14 years for committing the felony of forging, altering, counterfeiting, or falsely making a deed, discharge of mortgage, a power or letter of attorney, or any other document affecting an interest in real estate with the intent to injure or defraud.
§750.249b makes it illegal to utter or publish as true one of the forged records or instruments listed in the above section. The penalty for committing this felony may reach up to 14 years imprisonment.
Defending Against Your Michigan Forgery Charges – Detroit Forgery Lawyer
Every forgery case is different, and building a defense will require the careful study of the allegedly forged documents and the circumstances in which they were used. These cases tend to be complex and require lengthily discovery—which is why it’s important to work with a trusted and competent attorney.
Maurice Davis has a proven track record of achieving good results on behalf of his clients. With experience as both a prosecutor and a Detroit forgery lawyer, Attorney Davis knows how prosecutors build their cases, and how best to dismantle them. He may be able to apply any of the following defensive strategies to your case:
- Objecting to crucial evidence of the prosecution’s case on the basis of the rules of criminal procedure and evidence
- Requesting that the court censors evidence against you that was obtained without a proper warrant or through an illegal search
- Demonstrating that there is a reasonable doubt as to whether you committed the acts of which you are accused
- Showing that you did not act with criminal intent, or that you did not have knowledge of your possession of illegal instruments or forged documents
- Claiming that your arrest, detention, and interrogation did not respect your constitutional right to due process
- Advocating for a lenient sentence by highlighting mitigating factors that may apply to your case
According to a recent Michigan Supreme Court ruling, sentencing judges do not have to apply the sentences recommended by the Michigan Penal Code. Depending on the specifics of your case, this decision may affect the best defensive strategy available to you. If you’re facing forgery charges, you can call Davis Law Group today for a free and confidential consultation of your case.
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