In Nevada, the crime of forgery is a broad umbrella that encompasses a number of criminal acts. Several of these crimes include falsely counterfeiting, making, altering, obliterating, or erasing documents. Because financial forgery is not a violent crime, it is considered “white collar” and usually involves a trust based relationship between the perpetrator and the victim.
Forgery laws were originally intended to address criminal activity that is related to falsifying typewritten or handwritten documents. However, as technology has advanced the methods for drafting and creating false documents have also advanced. This has opened to door to new forgery crimes. One of these is possessing or establishing a financial forgery lab.
What is a financial forgery lab and what does Nevada law say about it?
Nevada provides a detailed definition of what constitutes a financial forgery lab.
- A computer, program, system, or other mechanical or electronic device (or any combination of such) that is configured in a specific way in order to unlawfully:
- Obtain personal identifying information (PII) of a person in order to commit an illegal or unlawful act
- The manufacture of any fraudulent or forged financial document, instrument, or item
Under this law, a person is prohibited from possessing or establishing a financial forgery laboratory with the intent to forge financial instruments or documents. The law classifies the crime as a category B felony unless a specific statute puts forth a greater penalty.
What are the penalties for possessing a financial forgery laboratory in Nevada?
The penalties for possessing a financial forgery laboratory in Nevada can be steep. There is mandatory time in prison as well as a fine. Additionally, because the crime is a felony, it can also impact your right to own a firearm and other civil rights.
NRS 205.46513 Establishing or possessing financial forgery laboratory unlawful; penalty; expert testimony.
- Category B Felony
- Minimum 1 year to maximum 20 years in prison
- Maximum fine of $100,000
What are the defenses for possessing a financial forgery laboratory?
There are several defenses that your criminal defense attorney can use to defend you if you are charged with the crime of possessing a financial forgery laboratory. However, the law also provides defenses that cannot be used.
- In any prosecution for a violation of any provision of possession of a financial forgery laboratory, the State of Nevada does not have to establish and it is no defense that:
- There is no accessory who has been identified, apprehended, or convicted, or
- Some of the acts that were committed as part of the crime did not occur in the State of Nevada or the acts that did occur in Nevada were not a crime or elements of a crime.
- In any prosecution for a violation of any provision of possession of a financial forgery laboratory, the violation shall be deemed to have been committed and may be prosecuted in any jurisdiction in the State of Nevada in which:
- The person whose PII forms a part of the violation currently resides or is found in Nevada; or
- Any act constituting an element of the crime occurred in Nevada, regardless of whether the defendant was ever physically present in that jurisdiction.
There are several defenses that your attorney may use when you go to trial. The defense they use will depend on the circumstances of your crime.
- No intent to defraud
- Equipment was not used for forgery
- The lab does not belong to you
- Illegal search and seizure
- Mistaken identity
If you have been charged with the crime of possession of a financial forgery lab, you need an attorney who will go to bat for you and make sure your rights are protected. You need the ATAC Law Firm. Our talented, experienced team will review your case and work with you every step of the way to ensure that you have the best possible outcome.
If you are facing charges of this crime or others, don’t wait to see what happens, get the representation that you deserve.
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