Uttering and Publishing and Checking Account Crimes

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Uttering & Publishing and checking account crimes account for billions of dollars lost to businesses, governments, and consumers. Businesses, banks, and governments have to rely on accurate records of financial transactions, and if there is a problem, the entire recording system gets thrown off. In Michigan, these crimes are generally felony offenses. These offenses can also be charged under Federal law when the offense involves a bank or credit union and uses electronic media, such as a computer, to accomplish the offense. These offenses are serious, and you need the help of experienced legal counsel to assist you.

Uttering & Publishing is a Felony Offense

In Michigan, Uttering and Publishing occurs when a person falsely makes or alters a document with the intent to defraud another person. Uttering and Publishing is a felony offense with a maximum possible prison sentence of 14 years, up to five (5) years of probation, and a $10,000 fine. There is no mandatory prison or jail sentence. Experienced lawyers can frequently develop a successful strategy to help their clients avoid incarceration as a penalty. In some cases, an aggressive and proactive defense can persuade the prosecutor or judge to dismiss all charges.

Types of Documents in Uttering and Publishing Cases

There are generally three categories of documents in Uttering and Publishing cases. They are as follows:

  • Financial transaction devices – Includes checks, money orders, credit cards, debit cards, and electronic funds transfer cards.
  • Public records and other documents – Includes certificates from the clerk of court or the register of deeds, vehicle titles, insurance policies, mortgage documents, promissory notes, and account receipts.
  • Documents affecting interest in real estate – Include deeds, mortgage discharges, and other documents that affect an interest in commercial or privately owned real property.

Documents involved in the commission of uttering and publishing do not have to be forged or counterfeit documents. The felony charge also applies to records, documents, or instruments that are legally valid but acquired by deceptive means and presented for fraudulent or illicit purposes.

Check Crimes, Insufficient Funds, or No Account Checks

A person who writes a check and knows there is not enough money in that account to cover the check has written an insufficient fund check (known as NSF) or writes a check knowing that the account is closed or bogus can face prosecution in Michigan. Writing a No Account Check is a felony offense punishable by up to 2 years in prison. An NSF check can be charged as a felony if the check amount was $500 or more or the person had two prior NSF convictions, regardless of the amount of those previous checks.

Some prosecutor’s offices will allow time to make the NSF check good by paying the amount of money owed to the alleged victim before the prosecutor files criminal charges. People will sometimes make honest mistakes with their checkbooks and should not be criminally prosecuted for them.

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Frequently Asked Questions

What is the meaning of uttering and publishing?

The act of falsifying or forging a crucial document, such as currency or a vehicle title, and then attempting to pass it off as authentic is known as Uttering and Publishing. In Michigan, judges and prosecutors take fraud very seriously, and uttering and publishing false documents can result in serious jail time.

What are the three (3) elements of uttering?

Every crime is made up of parts called “elements.” Uttering and Publishing has three elements that must be proven beyond a reasonable doubt by the prosecutor. The person committing the crime must (1) present a false document to another person, (2) with the knowledge that the document contains false information, and (3) with the intent that the person to whom the document is presented believes the false information.

What is the difference between forgery and uttering?

Forgery is the creation of a counterfeit document by someone intending to defraud another person. Uttering and Publishing is the presentation of a forged document to another person intending to defraud them.

What does uttering in the law mean?

Uttering is the act of passing along or presenting a document to another person.

What are the penalties for Uttering and Publishing?

The maximum sentence for Uttering and Publishing is 14 years in prison, up to five (5) years of probation, and a $10,000.00 fine.

Can I be deported for Uttering and Publishing?

Under U.S. immigration law, Uttering and Publishing is a felony crime involving moral turpitude. A conviction can result in deportation and other immigration consequences. A defense lawyer can negotiate with a prosecutor for a plea bargain that might prevent or reduce the impact of a conviction.

Is Uttering and Publishing a common charge?

Uttering and publishing is among the most common felony charges in Oakland, Wayne, and Macomb counties. The attorneys with LEWIS & DICKSTEIN, P.L.L.C. appear in courts throughout these counties daily and know the steps to take to get charges dismissed or reduced and achieve lenient sentences without incarceration.

Pre-Charge Representation and Consultation

If law enforcement officers or agents are attempting to contact you regarding any financial crime, including Uttering and Publishing or a bad check offense, you’ll want to consult with an experienced pre-charge investigation and consultation attorney right away. Do not talk to the police without an attorney there to protect you. Remember that “anything you say can and will be used against you” under Miranda. The police and other law enforcement agents are not trying to find the truth or clear you of criminal activity; their job is to build cases for prosecution. Officers often use tricks and manipulation, such as pretending to “just want to get things cleared up.” If you want to avoid charges, your best hope is the Defense Team with LEWIS & DICKSTEIN, P.L.L.C.

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Premier Michigan Criminal Defense Law Firm

The attorneys at LEWIS & DICKSTEIN, P.L.L.C. are sensitive to people charged with Uttering & Publishing and checking account crimes because they often result from unfortunate circumstances or financial problems. The firm’s attorneys have decades of experience helping people charged with criminal offenses. We have a reputation for success and will do everything in our power to protect your rights and provide the best legal representation possible. LEWIS & DICKSTEIN, P.L.L.C. offers a unique, winning, and effective team approach. The firm’s criminal defense lawyers believe that clients benefit from the collective experience of all the lawyers in the firm.

Call us today at (248) 263-6800 for a free consultation or complete an online Request for Assistance Form. We will contact you promptly and find a way to help you.

We will find a way to help you and, most importantly,
we are not afraid to win!

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