Tireless Defense in Complex Criminal Matters
Lawyers for Counterfeiting Allegations in Orlando
If you have been accused of counterfeiting, you may be facing a federal criminal conviction. This type of conviction will incur severe and possibly lifelong consequences, including hefty fines, mandatory counseling, and imprisonment. If you have a federal criminal conviction on your record, finding future employment and even housing could be extraordinarily challenging. At Alers Law Firm, our attorneys have years of experience developing effective solutions and aggressive defense strategies for every client. We are committed to protecting the fundamental freedoms of those accused of criminal activity.
If you are facing charges of a counterfeiting crime in Florida, let us fight for your rights. Call today.
Understanding the Crime: Is Counterfeiting Limited to Money?
Many hear “counterfeit” and automatically associate it with fake bills. But counterfeiting crimes involve producing, dealing, and/or exchanging a wide variety of fake items in place of their genuine versions. The term “counterfeit” is often applied to situations such as false advertising, in which a person or party sells an item that mimics a higher value brand.
The act becomes a federal crime when the fake item is one of the following:
- Postage stamps
- Military documents (e.g. passes, permits, discharge papers, etc.)
- Power of attorney documents
- Government or federal court documents
- Federal agency seals
- Securities (equities and debts)
What Is the Difference Between Counterfeit and Forgery?
The difference between these two crimes is subtle, and the laws and their corresponding punishments vary by state. Generally, counterfeit involves the illegal imitation of a certain item with the intent of benefiting from the genuine version’s value. Forgery, however, is a broader crime, including making or altering an item with the intent of defrauding someone.
Punishments for Counterfeiting in Florida
Counterfeiting the above items is a federal crime, but in Florida, you may still be subject to various punishments if you produce or distribute a variety of other counterfeit labels, trademarks, or intellectual properties.
Ultimately, the severity of the punishment depends on a variety of factors, including:
- The value of the imitated item
- How you used the counterfeit item (i.e. producing vs. possessing)
- Incurring damages resulting from the counterfeiting
The court will likely order seizure or destruction of the counterfeit goods and may categorize the crime as a felony. While a third-degree felony may result in up to five years in prison and a fine of up to $5,000, a second-degree felony could incur significantly harsher penalties, including 15 years in prison and a $10,000 fine.
Can I get in Trouble for Unknowingly Passing Counterfeit Money?
Punishments are most severe for repeated offenses or if the counterfeit item resulted in an injury or fatality. If you were caught unknowingly passing counterfeit money or labeled products, you may be more likely to avoid a conviction because you lacked criminal intent.
Contact Our Orlando Counterfeiting Defense Lawyers for Dedicated Support
If you unknowingly possessed counterfeit items, forfeiture may severely impact your financial security. We believe you should not suffer the consequences of someone else’s criminal activity. No matter your situation, Alers Law Firm is ready to help you understand and navigate the complexities of counterfeit law. We will work to attain a favorable outcome for your case by implementing a personalized litigation strategy in your defense. Our goal is to lessen or completely dismiss your charges so you can retain your fundamental freedoms.
In a criminal case, every moment counts. We are available all hours of the day, so call for immediate support or schedule your appointment online today.