If you are facing charges of counterfeiting, do you understand the implications of what you are up against? This is a serious federal-level offense, and if convicted, you could face serious time behind bars. It is in your interests to take your situation seriously and develop the right defense strategy. The first step in this process is learning as much as you can about the charges against you.
Counterfeiting is a crime that involves the production of fake items presented as genuine. As this is a federal crime, you could be facing years behind bars, fines and other consequences that will impact the rest of your life. There are different types of counterfeiting, and these charges may come in conjunction with other related white-collar charges that could increase the severity of the potential penalties you are up against.
What is a federal counterfeit offense?
Federal counterfeiting charges do not necessarily involve fake paintings and purses, but rather offenses involving the production, possession and use of counterfeit documents used for the purpose of defrauding the federal government. This includes counterfeit:
- Letters of patent
- Postage stamps
- Ship’s papers
- Legal documents like deeds and powers of attorney
- Government documents
- Military passes and permits
Counterfeiting often involves other related criminal activities that can result in separate and additional charges, including:
- Possession of counterfeit goods
- Possession of tools used in the production of counterfeit goods
- Using a fake document as a genuine one
- Putting together parts of bills, instruments or notes to make a fraudulent one
- Making or using counterfeit money substitutes
Your prosecution may involve several different types of charges, which is why it is beneficial to begin developing your defense strategy as soon as possible after an arrest.
What does it mean for your future?
A conviction for counterfeiting could result in an extensive sentence in a federal prison. It may also result in tens of thousands of dollars in fines, as well as loss of reputation and future opportunities. It is in your interests to act quickly to defend your rights and interests, whether you are under investigation or there are already charges filed against you. Your future is at stake, but the right defense strategy may help you avoid a conviction or mitigate some of the penalties you are up against.