What do you do if you’re caught with counterfeit money?
Attorney

What do you do if you’re caught with counterfeit money?

On Behalf of | Jan 17, 2022 | Criminal Defense |

If you are caught using counterfeit money, you could find that you quickly face trouble with the law. If a cashier checks a bill and finds that it is counterfeit, they may call the police. At that point, the police may arrest you for using a counterfeit, and you could be accused of forgery.

Counterfeit money is a threat to the United States currency and to the economy, so forgeries and counterfeits are taken very seriously. As a result, anyone who is accused of counterfeiting should look into developing a strong defense as soon as possible.

What should you do if you receive counterfeit money?

Sometimes, you may come into contact with counterfeit money at no fault of your own. If you receive a bill that doesn’t look quite right and determine that it is a counterfeit bill, then you should not return it to the person who gave it to you. Instead, you should contact the local police or local United States Secret Service field office to let them know about the counterfeit.

If the police or U.S. Secret Service special agent comes to you to collect the note, follow their instructions and surrender it only when they are properly identified.

What happens if you try to spend a counterfeit bill without your knowledge?

Realistically, counterfeit money does move through the U.S. economy regularly. Smaller bills, like ones, tens and 20s, are rarely checked for authenticity. However, if a bill is checked and turns out to be counterfeit, you will need to take steps to protect yourself as quickly as possible.

Remember, the cashier or other person involved in a transaction doesn’t have the ability to know if you are intentionally trying to pass off a counterfeit bill as real money. They may call the police, and you could end up being arrested for having the money in your possession.

At that point, you could face serious charges, so it’s valuable to ask to speak with your attorney and to stay quiet about the situation. If you didn’t know that a bill was forged or counterfeited, then you should not have to face penalties.