Florida Counterfeit Charges
Counterfeiting is often a serious federal offense that may be prosecuted in state or federal court. Since counterfeiters most frequently create fraudulent currency, designer goods, passports, and legal or financial documents that affect interstate and international commerce and other affairs, these offenses are considered federal crimes, for which the consequences of a conviction may be much more severe than those for state crimes.
Among the most common counterfeiting activities is the funneling of false currency into the economy. This is an example of fraudulent activity that can lead to monumental fines and other harsh penalties, as judges seek to make an example of the convicted to deter would-be counterfeiters. Whether you face charges at the federal or state level, you should speak with an experienced white collar crimes attorney in West Palm Beach about the charges against you immediately. An attorney can investigate your case thoroughly to help you avoid the worst possible outcome.
Federal Counterfeiting Charges in West Palm Beach
Many people assume counterfeiting is limited to making false currency or designer handbags; however, almost anything you can imagine has likely been counterfeited at some point. Counterfeiters have forged everything from currency to cigarettes and even computer parts, pharmaceuticals, and liquor. Counterfeiting most frequently involves:
- Currency. Professional counterfeiters use advanced tools to create paper money and coins that are almost identical to legal tender. Those who manufacture false currency constantly work to stay up-to-date on new security measures implemented whenever legal currency is changed.
- False documents. Counterfeiters create fraudulent driver’s licenses, birth certificates, visas, passports, military permits, deeds, government documents, and even postage stamps and other important documents. Because these are federal documents, the act of falsifying them could lead to serious federal charges.
- Merchandise. A common occurrence of counterfeiting is the manufacturing of look-alike luxury brand clothing and handbags. Creating fraudulent material goods and selling them as if they were the authentic brand names could constitute counterfeiting if there was intent to defraud.
Crimes that are often associated with counterfeiting include many activities that relate to false items. The following crimes that involve counterfeit materials may also be prosecuted:
- Possession of counterfeit items
- Utterance, passing a counterfeit as a legitimate document
- Possessing tools needed to make counterfeit items
If prosecutors believe you were involved in any of the additional crimes above, your charges will be compounded, which will make the results of a conviction worse. Talk to a competent defense attorney about what you may realistically face upon a conviction for any of the charges you’re up against.
Counterfeiting Penalties Can be Severe in Florida
Since counterfeit goods, currency, and documents often affect interstate and/or international commerce, the penalties a person charged with a counterfeiting offense can face are harsh penalties reserved for federal crimes. The most serious penalties are reserved for the reproduction of currency. Congress raised the maximum prison sentence from 15 to 20 years for this offense. In addition, the maximum fine can reach $250,000 or more depending on the effects of the offense.
On top of criminal penalties, a counterfeiting conviction could make it so that you can never work with money again. Upon conducting a background check, companies may not trust you to handle their money, which could be devastating if your professional experience involves accounting, banking, or another area in finance, insurance, healthcare, or another industry.
Fraud Crimes Lawyer You can Trust in West Palm Beach
A conviction for counterfeiting could lead to decades of incarceration and astronomical payment of fines. You cannot trust just any lawyer to fight the charges against you because your future is at stake. When looking for a lawyer, be sure to seek a competent, decisive, and dedicated lawyer with a select caseload who can give your case the time and attention it truly deserves.
Attorney Brian Gabriel has dedicated his 25-year legal career to criminal defense in West Palm Beach and surrounding areas. As your counterfeiting fraud lawyer, he will do whatever it takes to develop a strong case and educate you on the legal process so you are thoroughly prepared for each step. With a favorable reputation among lawyers, prosecutors, law enforcement officers, and others who work in the legal sphere, he can present a case that will help you attain the results you need.
To seek the best possible outcome, call The Law Office of Gabriel & Gabriel at 561-622-5575 for a free consultation or reach out to us online. We’ll be happy to discuss your case and get started on a path toward a brighter future.