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There are a number of different offences involving counterfeit currency. 


This area of law is covered by the Forgery and Counterfeiting Act 1981.


Making counterfeit currency or coin,(s.14 Forgery and Counterfeiting Act 1981.)


Making Counterfeit Currency is an offence whether it is intended to be used in place of the genuine currency or even if it is not to be used and is just make for pleasure. Currency includes notes and coins used as money and can include other countries as well as the UK.


This offence can be dealt with in the magistrates court or the Crown Court. The maximum penalty if the court believe it was to be used as genuine currency is 10 years imprisonment   (s.14(1)Forgery and Counterfeiting Act 1981.)


Where there is no intent to pass is off as genuine is 2 years imprisonment. (s 14 (2) Forgery and Counterfeiting Act 1981).


Passing, tendering counterfeit currency or coin,(s.15 Forgery and Counterfeiting Act 1981.)


Passing includes giving or spending. Where there is an intent that someone else should use the currency afterwards, the maximum sentence in the Crown Court is ten years. For these offences to be proven,the defendant must know or believe that the item is counterfeit. It is not enough for the Prosecution to show that you suspected that it was fake, they have to show that you knew.


Custody or control of counterfeit notes or coins,(s.16 Forgery and Counterfeiting Act 1981.)


These offences relate to having counterfeit currency in your possession. Control means having access to it or being able to dispose of it, even if you do not physically hold it.


The maximum sentence is 10 years if the holder intends it to be used. If there is no intention for it to be used then the maximum is 2 years.


Making or having custody of implements and materials for counterfeiting, (s.17 Forgery and Counterfeiting Act 1981.)


It is an offence to make or have any materials or implements designed for making counterfeit currency. Again the sentence depends on whether you inted it to be used or not. If it is proven that you did the the maximum penalty is 10 years, if not it is 2 years.


Importation and exportation of counterfeit currency or coins. (s20 and s21 Forgery and Counterfeiting Act 1981.)


It is illegal to import or export counterfeit currency without the permission of the Treasury. The importation offence includes landing and unloading of the currency.




When facing a charge like this you need someone who is going to believe in your case and fight your corner. You also need honest advice about any difficulties with your case. You need to be able to contact your solicitor at any time of the day to suit you and you need to know that there is a team of experts working on your case.


For free initial, honest advice call us on 01623 397200