West Palm Beach Counterfeit Checks Attorney
Anyone who fabricates or alters a check with the intent to defraud or otherwise injure another person is guilty of the crime of forgery. Anyone who knowingly attempts to cash a bad check is guilty of the crime “uttering forged documents.” Both of these crimes are considered third-degree felonies under Florida law and are punishable by up to five years in prison. Often, they are charged concurrently or together meaning that you will be facing time on both counts. Our West Palm Beach counterfeit checks attorneys have great experience defending clients who are facing serious jail time for forgery.
The Crime of Forgery under Florida Law
The crime of forgery is described in Florida Statute § 831.01 while utterance of a forged document is described in § 831.02. Forgery and counterfeiting as a whole can be found in Chapter 831 of the Florida Statutes.
An individual commits the crime of forgery when he fabricates or alters any document that has value or can be used for legal purposes. This includes, but is not limited to, fabricating, falsifying, or altering:
- A public record,
- An insurance policy
- A legal document,
- A promissory note,
- A ticket
- A receipt,
- A financial document,
- A bank bill,
- A check,
- Or anything else that has value.
The Crime of Uttering a Forged Document
Anyone who knowingly presents a forged document as true is committing the crime of “uttering” the forged document. This is a separate crime for forgery and the two can be charged concurrently.
It’s important to understand that, even if the bank clerk or other person does not accept the forged check or recognizes it as a fraud, you can still be charged with uttering under Florida law. The only requirement is that you knowingly passed off the forged document as true.
The Crime of Creating Counterfeit Labels
This may not be news to anyone, but those knock-off Gucci bags you find at a discount at the flea market are illegal. Again, however, the prosecution must be able to prove wrongful intent or fraud. If a street vendor is selling Gucci bags that they believed were, in fact, Gucci bags, the street vendor has committed no crime and is as much a victim of the offense as those who purchased it at an inflated price.
Punishment for Check Fraud, Check Forgery, and Related Crimes
A third-degree felony in Florida is punishable by up to 5 years in prison and a fine of $5,000. However, if you are prosecuted under federal law, you could be facing up to 30 years in prison depending on the severity of your crimes. In addition, repeated offenses can be charged more severely and if there are multiple instances of check fraud or other crimes, you will likely be charged for each crime separately.
Contact a West Palm Beach Check Fraud Attorney Today
If you’ve been accused of check fraud, you are likely facing serious jail time. The attorneys at the Skier Law Firm P.A. have helped numerous clients get charges reduced or dropped. Give us a call or contact us online and we can begin preparing your defense immediately.