Minnesota Forgery and Counterfeiting Laws

Forgery and counterfeiting involve making or using fake money or goods and presenting them as genuine. While these two acts generally involve the same type of behavior, many jurisdictions define them separately. For example, it's classified as counterfeiting in Minnesota if currency is involved. Falsifying other types of documents or goods in the state is considered forgery.

Summary of Minnesota Forgery and Counterfeiting Laws

Although the actual statute is the best source of information when conducting legal research, it's often written in legal jargon that can take time to understand. That's why it can be helpful to also read an overview of the statute in plain English. In the following chart you'll find a breakdown of forgery and counterfeiting laws in Minnesota as well as links to relevant statutes.

Statute(s)

Minnesota Statutes Chapter 609. Criminal Code:

Distinguishing Between Forgery and Aggravated Forgery

Aggravated Forgery: With the intent to defraud, a person makes or alters any of the following kinds of writings or objects:

  • Official seals or seals of a corporation;
  • Public records;
  • Official returns or certificates entitled to be received as evidence of their contents;
  • Court orders, judgments, process, or decrees;
  • Records or accounts of a public body, office, or officer; or
  • Records or accounts of a bank or person with whom state funds are deposited or entrusted.

Forgery: With intent to injure or defraud, a person:

  • Knowingly uses a false writing for the purpose of identification or recommendation;
  • Without consent, places an identifying label or stamp on merchandise that indicates that it's the product of another tradesperson, manufacturer, craftsperson, or packer, or dispose of such merchandise;
  • Falsely makes or alters a membership card, or knowingly possesses such card, for a labor union, business or other association;
  • Falsely makes or alters a writing, or possesses a falsely made or altered writing, that indicates a right to transportation on a common carrier;
  • Destroys, mutilates, or falsifies a record, account, or other document relating to a private business;
  • Without legal authority, destroys, mutilates, or falsifies a record, account, or other document relating to a person or business, or filed in the office of a public office or officer; or
  • Destroys a writing or object to prevent it from being produced at a legal proceeding (i.e. trial, hearing, etc.).
Penalties

Aggravated forgery is punishable by imprisonment for up to 10 years and/or a fine of up to $20,000.

Forgery is generally* punishable by imprisonment for up to 3 years and/or a fine of up to $5,000.

*Certain circumstances result in different penalties. Please see Section 609.63 for details.

Related Statute(s)

Minnesota Statutes Chapter 609. Criminal Code:

Note: State laws are always subject to change through the passage of new legislation, rulings in the higher courts (including federal decisions), ballot initiatives, and other means. While we strive to provide the most current information available, please consult an attorney or conduct your own legal research to verify the state law(s) you are researching.

Minnesota Forgery and Counterfeiting Laws: Related Resources

For additional information and resources related to this topic, please visit the links listed below.

Charged with Forgery or Counterfeiting in Minnesota? Get Legal Help

Minnesota forgery and counterfeiting laws rely heavily on your intent, which can be a very difficult element for a prosecutor to prove. If you're facing charges of forgery or counterfeiting in Minnesota, it's a good idea to get in touch with a local criminal defense attorney who can evaluate the evidence in your case and help you create an effective legal strategy going forward.

Next Steps: Search for a Local Attorney

Contact a qualified attorney.