Possession of Counterfeit Money Defense Lawyer

Counterfeit money stacked together

Under Texas law, it is a crime to knowingly possess or use fake or counterfeit money with the intent to defraud. In Texas, the possession of counterfeit money is charged under the forgery statute and is sometimes referred to as possession of fraudulent writings. Possessing counterfeit money is a serious offense with the potential for prison time, fines, and a permanent felony conviction. 

Unfortunately, everyone is at risk of unknowingly receiving counterfeit currency. In the Houston area, people have been charged for possession of counterfeit money who did not intend to do anything wrong or engage in any type of fraud and simply received counterfeit money as payment for work or some type of transaction. Fortunately, with the help of an experienced criminal defense lawyer, it is possible to successfully resolve an accusation of possession of counterfeit money and protect your freedom and reputation. 

How is the possession of counterfeit money charged in Texas?

In Texas, possession of counterfeit money is typically prosecuted as forgery under Texas Penal Code 32.21. That statute makes it a crime to knowingly possess a fraudulent writing (which is defined to include money or coins) with intent to defraud or harm another. When forgery is committed as a result of possession of counterfeit money, it is charged as a third-degree felony, punishable by 2-10 years in prison and a $10,000 fine. Possession of counterfeit money can be increased to a second-degree felony if the recipient of the counterfeit currency is 65 years of age or older. 

How are possession of counterfeit money cases defended? 

If you have been charged with possession of a fraudulent writing after being accused of possessing counterfeit money, it is critical that you speak with an experienced forgery defense attorney right away. 

The most common defense in possession of counterfeit money cases is that the defendant did not knowingly possess counterfeit money or intend to defraud anyone. In the United States, it is always the prosecutor’s burden to prove every element of a criminal offense. As noted above, to prove that someone is guilty of possession of a fraudulent writing, it is necessary that prosecutors present direct or circumstantial evidence that the defendant knowingly possessed counterfeit currency and did so with the intent to defraud. To prove that a defendant did not act knowingly or with the intent to defraud, it is necessary for a criminal defense attorney to be proactive in investigating the facts and circumstances of the allegation. On occasion, possession of counterfeit money cases may provide a good opportunity to submit a Grand Jury packet

How do I keep a possession of fraudulent writing charge off of my record? 

If you have been charged with possession of fraudulent writing after being accused of possessing counterfeit money, the goal should be to get the case dismissed or to be found “not guilty” at trial. If your case is dismissed, or if you win your trial, then you would be eligible to have your forgery case expunged. Under Texas law, an expunction is the best result in a possession of fraudulent writing case since it results in all records of the arrest being destroyed and you would even be able to deny the existence of the arrest. 

To achieve a good result, a forgery defense attorney should be aggressive, have a thorough understanding of the law and have a clear strategy. Attorney Jose Ceja is a former prosecutor who has obtained excellent results in fraud cases throughout the Houston area. If you have been accused of possession of counterfeit money or any type of fraud, call Ceja Law Firm today for a free consultation.