Under federal and Florida laws, it is unlawful to possess counterfeit currency and to use it with the intent of defrauding a retailer, merchant or individual. The federal government and agencies like the Secret Service seize millions of dollars in fake currency each year. A recipient handling multiple and large transactions are usually trained to prove the validity of the currency they’re receiving. If it is suspected that the currency is indeed fake, they may call the police and you could be charged with a forgery crime. These charges carry severe and heavy fines with lengthy potential prison sentences. You will need an experienced criminal defense lawyer to provide you with the best legal defense to prove you had no knowledge that the currency was fake.
Below is the Florida Statute explaining the illegality of counterfeiting money:
Section 831.15 – Counterfeiting coin; having 10 or more such coins in possession with intent to utter.
Whoever counterfeits any gold, silver, or any metallic money coin, current by law or usage within this state, or has in his or her possession at the same time 10 or more pieces of false money, or coin counterfeited in the similitude of any gold, silver or metallic coin; current as aforesaid, knowing the same to be false and counterfeit, and with intent to utter or pass the same as true, shall be guilty of a felony of the third degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082, s. 775.083, or s. 775.084.
Your Defense For Innocence
For any criminal charge, a prosecutor must prove there was criminal intent in order for a defendant to be convicted. In these types of cases, the criminal intent is to defraud. Lack of knowledge and intent will be the best route for a defense. A defendant’s attorney then works to persuade the judge or jury that there was no conscious intent to defraud. Common counters from the prosecutor can include evidence that the defendant was acting suspicious, dressed in disguise, or used poor quality currency. Still, a defendant’s attorney can argue these are subjective accusations making it imperative that you hire an experienced and credible lawyer as soon as possible to explore all your possible defenses.
If you have been charged with handling counterfeit currency, call Michael B. Cohen Law at 954.928.0059 today. With extensive experience in criminal law, we will provide the best defense to win your case. Call now to schedule a free consultation.