If you have been charged with forgery, federal counterfeiting, or “uttering” in Florida, contact an Orlando federal criminal defense lawyer right away. Forgery and counterfeiting are illegal and law enforcement takes those violations very seriously. Most forgery crimes in Florida are punishable by time in prison.
Forgery, Counterfeiting, and Uttering
Under Florida law, a person can be found guilty of forgery three different ways:
- By forging government documents, records, certificates, or notes;
- By buying, selling, or manufacturing counterfeit goods; or
- By uttering.
While very similar, these offenses are distinct from each other. Forgery is the act of falsifying or altering any public record, certificate, or court document for the means of “legal proof”; falsifying or altering any charter, deed, will, testament, bond, letter of lawyer, policy of insurance, bill of lading, bill of exchange, promissory note, order for the discharge of money, or ticket with the intent to injure or defraud. Forgery may also occur when an individual possesses 10 or more forged checks, notes, bills of credit, or bank bills with the intent to use them to purchase goods or services, or to redeem cash.
Counterfeiting usually occurs when an individual manufactures and sells fake designer products and labels. For instance, a pair of sunglasses or a purse sold on the street with a label that is very similar to a designer label, such as Gucci, but with a slight variation, is considered to be counterfeit. In order to be charged with counterfeiting, the seller must know that their product possesses a fake label, and they must have intended to use the fake label to attract and defraud potential customers. Counterfeiting can also occur when someone creates fake notes or counterfeit currency.
People who purchase a counterfeit item usually do not get into legal trouble unless they bought the product with the intent to redistribute the product for a profit. If the counterfeit goods have a retail value of more than $2,500 (as many designer handbags do), the seller can be charged with much more serious criminal charges than counterfeiting.
Uttering, under Florida law, means to offer any knowingly forged document as true, such as a forged check. The person who offered the forgery must have known that the document was falsified and must have had the intent to injure or defraud the person receiving it.
Defending Against Charges of Forgery, Counterfeiting, or Uttering in Orlando, Florida
If you have been charged with forgery, contact an experienced federal criminal defense lawyer at Haas Law to schedule your free consultation right away. Forgery is a serious crime that carries serious punishment. Contact our Orlando criminal defense law firm at 407-755-7675 right away.