Forgery and Check Fraud

When you have been accused of a serious crime involving uttering and publishing, check fraud or another type of white collar criminal act, you need a lawyer who has experience defending against these types of charges. I am Jonathan Jones, a Detroit area criminal defense attorney who has been protecting people's rights for more than 25 years. If you have been accused of criminal activity, it is essential to seek legal advice right away.

We are 100 percent dedicated to the practice of criminal defense and we are 100 percent committed to helping you get the best possible results. Call or text us at (248) 310-3399, or contact us online.

Building a Strong Defense Against Uttering and Publishing Criminal Accusations

The Michigan crime of uttering and publishing is a crime related to the forgery or counterfeiting of important documents and then attempting to pass them off as if they are legitimate. Fraud is a serious crime, and the uttering and publishing of fraudulent documents can lead to significant time in prison.

If you have been charged with forgery or uttering and publishing, you need a lawyer who has experience defending against these types of charges. I am Jonathan Jones, a Detroit area criminal defense attorney who has been protecting people's rights for more than 20 years. If you have been accused of criminal activity, it is essential to seek legal advice right away.

Elements of Uttering and Publishing

Michigan Penal Code Section 750.249 states that it is an offense to utter and publish “as true a false, forged, altered, or counterfeit record…knowing it to be false, altered, forged, or counterfeit with intent to injure or defraud.” Courts in Michigan have established that there are three elements to the crime of uttering and publishing:

  • Knowledge on the part of the defendant that the instrument was false
  • An intent to defraud
  • Presentation of the false instrument

In order to be found guilty of uttering and publishing, the prosecution must prove each of these elements beyond a reasonable doubt.

A person who utters and publishes a false, forged, or counterfeit deed or other document, knowing it to be false or with the intent to injure or defraud is guilty of a felony punishable by imprisonment for not more than 14 years.

Forgery of Bank Bills

Any person who falsely makes, forges, counterfeits, or alters a bank bill or promissory note payable to the bearer or to the order of any person or business with the intent to injure or defraud any person, shall be guilty of a felony, punishable by imprisonment in state prison for not more than 7 years.

Possession of Counterfeit Notes

Any person in possession at the same time, 10 or more false, altered, forged, or counterfeit notes payable to another person or bearer, with the knowledge that they are false, altered, forged, or counterfeit, with the intent to utter or injure and fraud shall be guilty of a felony, punishable by imprisonment in the state prison not more than 7 years.

Check Fraud

In Michigan, check fraud occurs when a person, with the intent to defraud, makes, draws, utters, or delivers any check, draft, or order for the payment of money, to apply on an account or otherwise, upon any bank or other depository if he or she does not have an account in or credit with the bank or other depository for the payment of the check, draft, or order upon presentation.

A person who violates the above is guilty of a felony, punishable by imprisonment for not more than 2 years, or by a fine of not more than $500.00, or both.

A person also shall not, with the intent to defraud, make, draw, utter, or deliver, within a period of not more than 10 days, 3 or more checks, drafts, or orders for the payment of money, to apply on accounts or otherwise, upon any bank or other depository, knowing at the time of making, drawing, uttering, or delivering each of the checks, drafts, or orders that the maker or drawer does not have sufficient funds or credit with the bank or other depository for the payment of the check, draft or order in full upon its representation.

A person who violates the above is guilty of a felony, punishable by imprisonment for not more than 2 years, or by a fine of not more than $500.00, or both.

Types of Documents Involved in the Offense

Michigan’s Penal Code provides multiple offenses that constitute uttering and publishing, depending on the type of document that was presented. The types of documents fall into the following categories:

  • Public records and other documents (MPC 750.249) – Includes public records, certificates from the clerk of court or the register of deeds, insurance policies, promissory notes, and account receipts
  • Financial transaction devices (MPC 750.248a) – Includes credit cards, debit cards, and electronic funds transfer cards
  • Documents affecting interest in real estate (MPC 750.249b) – Includes deeds, discharges of mortgages, and other documents that affect an interest in real property

Michigan courts have ruled that the documents involved in the commission of uttering and publishing do not have to be forged or counterfeit documents. The law also applies to instruments that are legally valid but were acquired by deceptive means. For example, the Michigan Court of Appeals upheld a conviction for uttering and publishing when a defendant opened a bank account under a false name and then attempted to use a valid check drawn on that false bank account to purchase groceries. In another instance, the use of valid gift cards that were obtained by using a stolen credit card and false identification was considered uttering and publishing.

How a Detroit Fraud Lawyer Can Help

Uttering and publishing may be unfamiliar since the phrase is not often used outside of the legal system. However, it is a crime that is even more relevant now than when the law was first made effective back in 1931. Current technology makes it easier to scan and edit important documents which creates more opportunities to present a false document in an effort to commit fraud. It also means there is an increased risk of someone unknowingly presenting a fraudulent document and facing charges for uttering and publishing. A skilled Royal Oak fraud attorney can help to establish that you did not have the required knowledge or intent to commit the crime.

We are 100 percent dedicated to the practice of criminal defense and we are 100 percent committed to helping you get the best possible results. Call or text us at (248) 310-3399, or contact us online.

Client Reviews
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In life sometimes good people do or experience bad things. These people should be as lucky as I have been to be represented by Jonathan Jones. Mary P.
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Thank you again you are a excellent lawyer I wish you many more of those outcomes throughout your career as a dedicated lawyer. Rick R.
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