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Forgery and Counterfeiting: The Basics

Posted on in White Collar Crimes

forgery, counterfeiting, Fairfield County criminal defense attorneyThe crime of forgery may refer to large operations in which a person purposefully lies about the origin of a high-end luxury good in order to sell it at supposed market value. It may, in this case, bring to mind images of people hawking forged goods on the street corner or in discount stores. However, it may also refer to any instance in which a person signs another person’s name, such as for a package delivery, or accepting someone else’s mail.

Yet it is not just the act of selling a forged product or pretending to be someone else in order to sign for him that is considered under law to be an act of forgery—any step in the counterfeiting process is subject to criminal punishment. This includes the manufacture of any analog or digital images, impressions of tools, or possessing such tools for counterfeiting purposes, no matter where in the world a person is at the time of the crime. That is, it is technically against the law for any person outside of the United States to manufacture, deal, or possess any counterfeit security of the United States—however ambitious this is to enforce on the ground.

Forged Certificates and Written Instruments

Counterfeiting and forgery, as you probably realize, are not limited to goods and material items, either. A person, for example, may forge a copyright note or patent, in an effort to forge intellectual property. A person who presents this forged patent—regardless of whether he or she willingly created it or not—may be subject to fines under the U.S. Code Title 18, the law that prohibits any type of forgery. In certain severe cases, a person who presents a falsified patent or copyright may be subject for up to 10 years imprisonment as well. Forging other government-issued certificates is also subject to punishment, though the resulting length of imprisonment varies. Any person who forges or counterfeits a military or naval discharge certificate for example, may be fined and imprisoned for up to one year. Any person who falsely makes, alters, or tampers with any military or official pass or permit (even if it is fashioned for someone else) may be subject to fines and up to five years imprisonment.

Help With Your Case

In Connecticut, a person is sentenced for forgery based on two determinations: whether or not the person made, issued, falsified, or possessed a written instrument, and what the intent was behind doing so. If you have been accused of forgery or counterfeiting anything, the most important step is to seek legal counsel. Do not go through it alone. Contact an experienced Stamford criminal defense attorney today.

 

Sources:

https://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/text/18/part-I/chapter-25

https://www.jud.ct.gov/JI/criminal/Part10/10.1-2.htm