I was arrested for counterfeiting in Virginia. What penalties might I face?

Counterfeit Charges Button on a ComputerCounterfeiting is a forgery crime in the Commonwealth of Virginia and is a serious felony offense. If you are convicted of this white collar crime, you may be sentenced to a lengthy prison sentence and ordered to pay hefty fines.

Counterfeiting Crimes and Penalties in Fairfax

Counterfeiting involves the making of fake money, which can be either bills or coins. There are several counterfeiting crimes in Virginia:

  • Counterfeiting. Under Virginia Code § 18.2-170, it is a crime to forge a note, coin, or bill of a banking institution with the intent to defraud. It is also illegal to make a coin, bill, or note that purports to be of a banking company that is not in existence. This is a Class 4 felony with a possible sentence of 2 to 10 years in prison and a fine of up to $100,000.
     
  • Uttering counterfeit money. You can be charged with uttering counterfeit money under Virginia Code § 18.2-172 for intentionally trying to pass it off or “utter” it as if it were real money. This crime is a Class 5 felony. Your sentence if convicted can include between 2 and 10 years in prison and a fine not to exceed $2,500.
     
  • Possessing counterfeit money. Possessing counterfeit coins, bills, or notes, whether or not you also forged them, with the intent to pass them off as real money is also a white-collar offense under Virginia Code § 18.2-173. It can be charged as a Class 3 misdemeanor if you possess less than 10 forged bills or coins or as a Class 6 felony if you have more than 10 coins or bills. If convicted of a Class 3 misdemeanor, the penalty is a fine not to exceed $500. A Class 6 felony conviction can result in a prison sentence of up to five years.

If you have been charged with a counterfeiting crime in Fairfax or Northern Virginia, you cannot afford to take the charges lightly. In addition to the harsh penalties you face, you would have a permanent criminal record with long-term consequences on your ability to obtain a job and other aspects of your life.

Let our experienced Fairfax criminal defense lawyers help you build a strong defense to the charges you face. Call our Fairfax office or start an online chat to learn more about how we can assist you.