What are Forgery and Counterfeiting?
Forgery and counterfeiting are two examples of white-collar crimes. These
are crimes with a financial motive that are nonviolent in nature. Forgery
covers illegal acts related to the signing, altering, or making of documents
or other records with an intent to defraud. Similarly, counterfeiting
requires someone to act to defraud and covers the activities related to
creating an unlawful imitation of documents.
What Does a Prosecutor Need To Prove a Counterfeiting or Forgery Case?
While some nuances differentiate the two, there are some unifying factors
to consider. The main one being that the act has to be committed with
an intent to defraud. For example, if someone were to create counterfeit
currency that was meant as a joke, they might be ruled innocent.
Things To Remember
When it comes to these types of cases, some specifics can come up depending
on the item or document that is forged or counterfeited. This is why it’s
hard to nail down specific penalties as well. Forgery and counterfeiting
can be considered a misdemeanor or a felony, depending on the case. Felony
counterfeiting carries a punishment of two to four years in jail while
felony forgery sentencings range from sixteen months to three years. Interestingly,
this is relatively lenient compared to some states which can have sentences
as long as fifteen years for certain types of forgery.
If you’re accused of forgery or counterfeiting, you should seek experienced
counsel. Our Santa Barbara, CA-based firm has more than thirty years of
combined legal experience and has helped reduce charges, lessen fines,
and achieved outright dismissals of white-collar crimes.
Need help with your case? The lawyers at Appel & Morse have over thirty
years of legal experience and can offer you a free consultation. Give
us a call at (805)467-6060 or fill out
an online contact form.