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What constitutes counterfeiting in Louisiana?

Most residents in Louisiana deal with money on a daily basis. From buying groceries to tipping a waiter, the exchange of money is an essential transaction. Therefore, when money is produced that is not legitimate, known commonly as counterfeit money; the law takes this crime seriously. Moreover, the potential consequences are harsh.

In Louisiana, the crime of counterfeiting is a form of forgery and is known as monetary instrument abuse, and it is a felony to commit this crime. The crime entails a person making, issuing, selling or transferring forged or counterfeit money with the intent to deceive another person about the nature of the money. A document or writing that is presented as legitimate, but has actually been falsely manufactured, composed or otherwise made, is deemed to be counterfeit under Louisiana law.

Significantly, even possession of counterfeit or forged money is a crime and it has the same potential penalties as transferring the money. Furthermore, a person who makes, issues, sells, transfers or possesses a device used to make counterfeit money could also face felony counterfeiting charges in Louisiana.

The felony charge of monetary instrument abuse carries the possibility of a harsh sentence if convicted. A person convicted under Louisiana's counterfeit statute faces a potential fine of at least $5,000 and up to one million dollars, as well as a prison sentence from six months to as long as ten years. Furthermore, if convicted of counterfeiting, a defendant will have to pay restitution to whomever is deemed to have suffered a financial loss.

If you are facing felony charges for counterfeiting in Louisiana or in federal court, it may be wise to promptly seek out legal counsel to protect your rights and discuss your options. Taking this step will help ensure you are properly informed about your defense options, taking timely and appropriate steps to protect your rights and interests.

Source: Louisiana State Legislature, "RS 14:72.2," accessed Nov. 20, 2015

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