FAQs About Online Fraud

If you’ve been charged with an online fraud crime in Virginia, you may have many questions. Here, our skilled Fairfax fraud lawyers provide answers to common questions in these cases.

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  • What are defenses to forgery charges in Virginia?

    Gavel Engraved With Forgery TextForgery is a serious felony offense in the Commonwealth of Virginia no matter the value of what is forged. If convicted, you may be sentenced to significant prison time and a hefty fine. To avoid these harsh consequences, you need the assistance of an experienced criminal defense attorney who can assist you in defending against the charge.

    Common Forgery Crimes in Virginia

    There are a number of forgery-related crimes that you can be charged with committing in Virginia. Three common forgery-related crimes are:

    • Forgery. Virginia Code § 18.2-172 defines forgery as the creation of a false document or alteration of an existing one with the intent to injure or defraud another. This is a Class 5 felony with a possible sentence of up to 10 years in prison and a fine of up to $2,500.
    • Uttering. Uttering is a crime under the same code section as forgery and is often charged with it. However, uttering is a separate offense. It is the use of a false document. If convicted, the sentence is the same as for forgery.
    • Forgery by false pretenses. Forgery by false pretenses is also a criminal offense under Virginia Code § 18.2-172. This crime involves obtaining the signature of a person with the intent to defraud him. This is a Class 5 felony with the same penalties as for forgery and uttering.

    Defenses to Forgery Charges

    In order for you to be convicted of a criminal offense, the prosecutor must prove the elements of the crime beyond a reasonable doubt. For example, the elements of the crime of forgery include the act of making or altering a document and the intent to defraud another. Here are some defenses that you may be able to raise if charged with a forgery crime:

    • No intent. Evidence that you did not intend to defraud or deceive another, which is a key element of the crime, is a possible defense.
    • Consent. Proving that you created or altered a document with the permission of the alleged victim may be a defense that can result in the charges against you being dismissed.
    • Not a forgery. Another possible defense is that the document has not been forged. If you are raising this defense, you may need to hire a handwriting expert to verify the item’s authenticity.

    Have you been arrested for forgery in Fairfax or Northern Virginia? Let our Fairfax criminal defense lawyers aggressively fight the charges you face so that you achieve the best possible outcome given your circumstances. To learn more, call our Fairfax office to schedule a free consultation.


  • 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.