In: Criminal Defense

What If I Didn't Know a Bill Was Counterfeit?

Receiving a counterfeit bill unknowingly can lead to problems, as you might be found to be in possession of the counterfeit money when trying to spend it. The passing of counterfeit money can be a serious charge, and it is important that you understand how to address your charges if you are unwittingly caught with counterfeit bills. You should have a general understanding of the laws around counterfeit money, and if you have a charge for counterfeiting or possession, reach out to a criminal defense attorney as soon as possible to support your case.

The Law Office of Brent D. Bowen is here to help today.

Intent is Required for Criminal Charges for Counterfeit Bills

A legal term known as “intent” is required for you to be rightfully charged with the attempted use of counterfeit currency under both state and federal law. For example, under U.S. Code Section 471, whoever who, with the intent to fraud, makes, uses, or alters any form of currency may be imprisoned for up to 20 years. If you did not have the intent to pass a counterfeit bill, this is an important defense you should present to fight your charges.

The fact that you can lose your freedom for being charged with attempting to pass counterfeit money highlights the importance of hiring an attorney who understands the charges against you and can help the district attorney understand your lack of intent in committing a crime. In this kind of rare case, ignorance can, in fact, be bliss.

What Should I Do if I Suspect I Have Counterfeit Money?

If you think you might have counterfeit money and do not want to spend it, the United States Secret Service has a number of recommended steps. They suggest you do not return it to the passer, observe their information, then contact your local police department or the United States Secret Service field office. You then must also surrender the note, even if you take a loss as a result. Reaching out to a civil attorney to recover your damages can help, and if you have been charged with attempting to pass counterfeit money, a Texas criminal defense attorney can advocate for your rights.

Know Your Money to Avoid Losses and Counterfeit Issues

Knowing what legitimate or illegitimate money feels like and the security features on bills can help you to avoid the potential of facing such charges. The U.S. Currency Education Program, a government organization, notes that the one-dollar bill has been consistent since the 1960s, and the five-dollar bill has the addition of security threats and UV glowing, which larger bills also have.

Reach out to a Texas Criminal Defense Attorney Today for Help on Your Counterfeit or Forgery Charge

Being in possession of counterfeit money is an unfortunate alignment of circumstances that could negatively impact your record and even your freedom. Connecting with an attorney as soon as possible concerning your charge is your best bet to achieving a positive outcome on your case.

Schedule a consultation now for help on your case from the Law Office of Brent D. Bowen, PLLC.