Federal Defense Lawyer Explains Crimes Involving Coins and Currency
There are protections in place under federal law that are designed to ensure integrity of coins and currency. If you violate laws related to coins and currency, you could be charged with a federal crime and could face the potential for jail time or other serious penalties. You could also be left with a criminal record.
Responding assertively and appropriately when you are charged with a federal crime is important to ensure that you have the best chance of avoiding conviction or lessening penalties.
Our legal defense team has extensive experience negotiating plea agreements with federal prosecutors and presenting cases in federal court.
We have represented defendants in Nevada, California, Utah, Arizona and surrounding areas who have been charged with wrongdoing in connection with coins, currency, or other federal offenses and we will put our extensive legal knowledge to work to help you get the best outcomes in any situation. Give us a call today to find out more.
Federal Laws on Crimes Involving Coins and Currencies
Federal criminal laws related to coins and currency are found in 18 U.S. Code Chapter 17. There are seven different statutes that are found within this chapter of the U.S. Code. They include the following:
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- 18 U.S. Code section 331: This statute addresses the mutilation, diminution, or falsification of U.S. coins. You can be charged with on offense for fraudulently defacing coins, mutilating coins, altering coins, diminishing them, impairing them, scaling them, or lightening them. You can also be charged for defacing or damaging foreign coins that are, by law, made or circulated in the U.S. as well as for possessing coins that you know are altered, defaced, or mutilated. The penalty for fraudulently altering coins or knowingly possessing altered coins is up to five years of imprisonment as well as a fine.
- 18 U.S. Code section 332: This statute prohibits altering gold or silver coins coined at the U.S. mint by debasing them or removing some of the gold or silver contained within so the coins weigh less. It also prohibits altering the scales and weights at the U.S. mint or embezzlement of metals by officers or others at the U.S. mint. The penalty could include up to a maximum of 10 years imprisonment and a fine.
- 18 U.S. Code section 333: This statute prohibits mutilating national bank obligations. It is unlawful to mutilate, cut, deface, disfigure, perforate, or otherwise damage drafts, notes, or other evidence of debt that has been issued by a national banking association with the intent to render the bill, note, or other evidence of debt unfit to be reissued. The penalty could include up to six months of imprisonment and a fine.
- 18 U.S. Code section 334: This statute prohibits federal reserve agents or employees of the federal reserve system or board of governors from putting any federal reserve notes into circulation without following the laws. The punishment for violating this statute could include up to five years imprisonment and a fine.
- 18 U.S. Code section 335: This statute prohibits directors, officers, or agents of corporations from using notes, checks, drafts, or other securities purporting to be from a corporation that has an expired charter. Agents and others involved in the corporation are not allowed to have these expired notes purporting to be made under the company’s authority and they are not allowed to try to redeem or pay with them. The penalty for violating this rule could include up to five years of imprisonment as well as a fine.
- 18 U.S. Code section 336: Under this statute, it is unlawful for anyone to issue, make, circulate or pay out a note, check, memorandum or other token for a sum of less than $1 with the intent to circulate these tokens as money received or used in lieu of actual money. The penalty for this offense could include up to six months of imprisonment as well as a fine.
- 18 U.S. Code section 337: Under this statute, if the Secretary of the Treasury designates coins by proclamation published in the Federal Register and anyone lends or borrowers money or credit using those designated coins as security during the time period designated in the proclamation, the person who uses the coins as security could be fined or could be imprisoned for up to a year.
Understanding your rights if you’ve been accused of violating federal law is important. This means you need to know what prosecutors must prove when you are charged with a crime and what defenses you can raise or arguments you can make to introduce reasonable doubt. LV Criminal Defense can help.
Getting Help from a Federal Criminal Defense Attorney
The rules related to coins and currency can sometimes be complicated and it can be difficult to determine the strength of the prosecutor’s case against you or what your options are for raising defenses when you have been accused of violating the law. However, because you can face a lengthy prison sentence, it is important that you work with a federal criminal lawyer who understands federal laws related to coins and currency crimes.
LV Criminal Defense can provide the representation that you need. We have extensive experience providing legal advocacy to clients accused of a wide variety of different federal offenses and we know how to use our legal knowledge and experience to help defendants who are facing very serious charges.
To find out more about how our firm can provide the assistance that you need to fight accusations against you in connection with coins, currency, or any federal crimes, you should give us a call today.
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