Counterfeiting, the act of producing fake currency, goods or documents with the intent to deceive, is a serious crime in the state of Hawaii. The severity of the crime often depends on the nature and extent of the counterfeiting activity.
Hawaii follows both state and federal laws when dealing with counterfeiting. Here is a look at the potential punishments an individual could face for counterfeiting.
Punishments under state law
In Hawaii, the state law classifies counterfeiting as forgery, which is a felony. Under state law, you could face significant fines and imprisonment. For example, second-degree forgery, which might involve creating, using or possessing a forged instrument like counterfeit currency, is a Class C felony. This can result in a fine of up to $10,000 or up to five years in prison.
If the crime involves forgery of a credit card, a public record or defrauds the government, it becomes first-degree forgery, which is a Class B felony. This crime can result in up to 10 years in prison and a fine of up to $25,000.
Punishments under federal law
Federal law also covers counterfeiting, especially when it involves U.S. securities or currency. The United States Secret Service usually investigates these cases. If you are guilty of counterfeiting under federal law, you could face severe penalties, including up to 20 years in prison and substantial fines.
If the counterfeiting involves foreign currency or obligations while in the United States, the punishment can still involve up to 20 years of imprisonment.
The specific punishments vary based on the nature of the counterfeiting crime, so it is important to understand the consequences of such actions and to always steer clear of any activities that involve counterfeiting.