is it illegal to buy counterfeit money

is it illegal to buy counterfeit money

is it illegal to buy counterfeit money. Most states say that it is illegal to possess counterfeit money if you know the money is counterfeit and try to use it to defraud another person. The crime can lead to either a misdemeanor or felony charge punishable by several years in jail or state prison.

If you are accused of this crime, you can try to challenge the accusation with a legal defense. A few common defenses are to show that you:

  • did not know that the money was fake,
  • did not try to defraud or trick someone, and/or
  • were falsely accused.

Note that counterfeiting is a separate criminal offense. You generally commit the crime when you make, use, sell, or offer services that are identified by a counterfeit mark and do so:

  • knowingly,
  • willfully, and
  • for financial gain

1. Is it a crime if you possess counterfeit money?

Maybe. The criminal laws of most jurisdictions make it a crime to possess counterfeit money, but only when the following are true:

  1. you knew that the currency is fake money, and
  2. you acted with an intent to pass it on and defraud someone else.1

For example, California law says:

“Every person who possesses or receives, with the intent to pass or facilitate the passage or utterance of any forged, altered, or counterfeit items, or completed items contained in subdivision (d) of Section 470 with intent to defraud, knowing the same to be forged, altered, or counterfeit, is guilty of forgery.”2

You typically act with an intent to defraud someone if you provide false or misleading information to that person and try to:

  • get an unfair benefit over that person, or
  • cause harm or loss to that person.3

Note that the above laws apply to counterfeit money as well as other forms of counterfeit currency and counterfeit items, including:

  • counterfeit bills,
  • fake currency,
  • counterfeit money orders,
  • counterfeit bank notes or bank bills,
  • fake forms of paper money, and
  • counterfeit reserve notes or treasury notes.

2. Can you challenge a possession charge with a legal defense?

Yes. You can try to challenge criminal charges of possessing counterfeit money with a legal defense.

Ideally, you will want to use a defense that casts reasonable doubt on a prosecutor’s case.

A few common defenses in these criminal cases include showing that:

  • you did not know the money was fake,
  • you did not act with an intent to defraud someone,
  • law enforcement arrested you without probable cause, and
  • you were falsely accused.

Note that you should consult with a criminal defense attorney if facing charges because a lawyer will know the best defense to raise.

Most criminal defense lawyers and law firms provide free consultations, which means you typically get all of your legal questions answered for free.

3. What are the penalties?

The specific penalties for illegally possessing counterfeit money will depend on:

  • the facts of a given case,
  • state laws, and
  • whether you have a criminal record.

While some states charge this offense as a misdemeanor, some charge it as a felony offense.4

The potential penalties could include a fine and prison sentence or jail sentence of several years.

4. What is the crime of counterfeiting?

Counterfeiting is a separate offense from the crime of possessing counterfeit money.

You are generally guilty of counterfeiting if you:

  1. make, use, sell, or offer services that are identified by a counterfeit mark, and
  2. do so knowingly, willfully, and for financial gain.5

As with possessing fake money, counterfeiting can lead to either misdemeanor or felony charges punishable by several years in jail or prison.

Note that counterfeiting can be charged under either state laws or federal law.

The main federal counterfeiting law is set forth in 18 U.S.C. 471. Per this statute, you are guilty of counterfeiting if you: buy thc vape juice with cash payment saudi arabia/

  1. make, forge, or alter any obligation or other security of the United States, and
  2. do so with the intent to defraud.6

If convicted under this law, you will be guilty of a federal crime and could face up to 20 years in federal prison. is it illegal to buy counterfeit money