The crime of uttering forgery in Mississippi is found in the Miss. Code 97-21-59. It states that anyone who is convicted of having uttered or published as true, and with intent to defraud, any forged, altered, or counterfeit instrument, or any counterfeit gold or silver coin, the forgery, altering, or counterfeiting of which is declared by the provisions of this chapter to be an offense, knowing such instrument or coin to be forged, altered, or counterfeited, shall suffer the punishment herein provided for forgery.
Many types of Mississippi forgery are felonies. Punishment is a minimum two years in the penitentiary (with a maximum of 10) and/or a fine of up to $10,000. A penitentiary sentence over one year is what makes it a felony, however in cases where the value is less than $500, the punishment is up to six months in jail and/or a $1000 fine. A sentence in the county jail and a punishment of less than a year is what makes the $500 provision of this law a misdemeanor.
If you’ve been charged with uttering forgery in Mississippi, you should contact a Southaven criminal attorney right away. If you have no prior criminal record you need to see what options exist for keeping it that way; in other words, making sure that the charge does not become a permanent conviction. If it’s misdemeanor forgery that you’re charged with, this may be possible through paying restitution and perhaps going on probation for six months to a year. If you’re charged with felony forgery, you’re going to have to work hard to get it off your record.
You may wish to challenge the state’s evidence and take your forgery case to trial. If the state cannot prove that it was you who committed the forgery, or that you did not have the intent to defraud, having a trial–rather than pleading to a crime to which you are innocent–might be the best choice. Having an experienced Mississippi forgery defense lawyer on your side, along with a thorough understanding of the state’s proof, is going to be necessary.
Patrick Stegall is a Southaven forgery crimes lawyer. Mr. Stegall handles criminal cases of all types throughout North Mississippi, including theft and economic crimes. If you have been charged with forgery in Mississippi, contact Mr. Stegall at email@example.com or (901) 205-9894.