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Grand Rapids Forgery Lawyer

The state of Michigan takes all allegations of forgery very seriously and this means punishments for a conviction can be severe. Forgery involves the creation, use, or sale of any document that is altered or false. The most severe allegations involve the falsification of public documents or bank instruments. However, even the alteration of items that are only for personal use is a felony-level offense.

A Grand Rapids forgery lawyer may be able to help if you were accused of forgery. A seasoned fraud lawyer could assist people with understanding the nature of the charges they are facing, the potential consequences for a conviction, and how to design and present a strong defense to defeat the prosecutor’s case.

What Actions Count as Forgery in Grand Rapids?

Forgery, regardless of the exact nature of the allegation, is generally a felony offense. This means a conviction can result in more than a year of imprisonment. However, depending upon the instrument alleged to be forged, there is a range of possible punishments.

The most serious forgery allegations involve the alteration or creation of false public documents. According to Michigan Compiled Law §750.248, it is a crime for any person to change or create a false version of a will, court document, bill of lading, or promissory note. A conviction for this offense can result in a maximum penalty of 14 years in prison.

Allegations that a person forged a document related to the possession of real property is a felony punishable by up to 14 years in prison. This can include mortgage loan paperwork, the deed to a house, or land survey documents.

The most common and seemingly innocuous type of forgery involves state-issued documents. The classic example is the use of a fake driver’s license to purchase alcohol but can also include forging a birth certificate or death certificate. According to Michigan Compiled Law §750.252, a conviction can result in up to seven years in prison. Therefore, even seemingly simple offenses such as using a fake ID to get into a bar can have serious consequences.

Possible Defenses Against Document Falsification

Many of Michigan’s forgery statutes provide a defense for those charged with forgery. The laws state that any public notary’s error does not constitute forgery. A notary’s error is a mistake made by a person during the creation or copying of a document.

For example, if new parents are completing the application for a birth certificate and accidentally misspell their child’s name, they are considered to have committed forgery because the document contains incorrect information. If they are given the documents by a public notary and the information is incorrect, they will usually not be guilty of forgery.

However, a key portion of any forgery prosecution is that the prosecutor needs to prove that the defendant intended to defraud another party. When a person makes an honest mistake, they can use this defense in court. A Grand Rapids forgery lawyer could help people who believe their arrest for forgery is the result of an honest mistake.

Contact a Grand Rapids Forgery Attorney

Courts in Grand Rapids take allegations of fraud extremely seriously. No matter the type of alleged fraud, the penalties can be severe and carry multiple years in prison. In addition, the conviction generally results in a criminal record that publicly classifies the person as a felon. This classification is likely to affect a person’s employment and living situation.

A Grand Rapids forgery lawyer could help people avoid or reduce these penalties. Attorneys work to help people to understand the exact nature of the charges they are facing, develop an effective defense, and present that defense in court. Contact a lawyer today to discuss your case.

Client Reviews
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Patrick Barone is the ONLY choice for DUI defense. He was realistic from the start and made it a point to look at my case before taking my money. As a business owner, when I think of attorneys, I think of the "shark infested waters. Patrick is a shark alright, but his prey is not the client; it's justice for his client. Ten stars Patrick!! Chris F.
★★★★★
Attorney Patrick Barone was very helpful and helped me understand the charge and sentence absolutely clearly. He also guided me through step by step helping me form a statement. His instructions were clear and detailed. It was obvious he cared about me understanding every important detail within my case. I would absolutely recommend this defense firm to anyone in need. Aaron B.
★★★★★
The Barone Defense Firm is the firm I recommend. They are truly concerned about the person, not just the legal issue, but the person as well. They are the most knowledgeable defense firm that I am aware of, having actually written the book on DWI Defense. If you are faced with a DWI you will not find a more professional and skilled law firm. But, most importantly, they care about how the accused individual recovers his or her life when the case is complete. Very remarkable group of lawyers. William H.