Forgery, Uttering, Counterfeiting

Uttering is when a counterfeit item is knowingly sold or offered to someone else, but the person selling the item did not actually create the false item. Examples of this are forging university diplomas, or using a fake ID.

In Massachusetts uttering is a very serious offense. In an uttering case, the prosecution needs to prove that the defendant intended to injure or defraud and utters a false or altered record or instrument. Usually these charges spawn from checks that don’t clear. The most common victims in these cases are banks.

Even though it may seem like a harmless and minor offense, the potential penalties are serious. If a defendant is convicted of uttering, the defendant can face up to 10 years in state prison or not more than 2 years in jail.

In many of uttering cases, the defendant never had the intent to defraud anyone. With the economy the way it is, many people have fallen prey to scams. The potential penalties for uttering charges are serious so it is important that you have an experienced defense attorney on your side.

Counterfeiting is when items such as coins, currency, postage, military papers, government securities, computer software, CDs and other items are produced and sold that are known to be worth less than those that are genuine. It is illegal to sell counterfeit items as the real thing. Counterfeiting is a felony and carries a punishment of up to 12 years in prison and/or a fine up to $250,000.

Intentionally falsifying, counterfeiting or altering a document in order to defraud or injure another party is considered forgery. Documents of legal significance that are often forged include checks, cashier’s checks, traveler’s checks, deeds, wills, promissory notes and credit cards. Ruled by Massachusetts law CHAPTER 267 a conviction for forgery has a maximum sentence of 10 years in state prison.

Check fraud can take many forms, including:

Writing, passing and uttering bad checks
Check kiting
Counterfeiting or forgery
Fake check scams

In some cases, check fraud is associated with other crimes such as embezzlement and identity theft. Law enforcement may aggressively prosecute these crimes, seeking the maximum penalties if you are convicted. Under Section 31 the courts may also, upon conviction, order compensation to the prosecutor and to the officer who has secured and kept the evidence of the crime, not exceeding their actual expenses, with a reasonable allowance for their time and trouble.