Do you have a fake banknote in your hands? Warning! Let’s find out what you risk with the possession and use of counterfeit money. It takes very little to get in trouble!
Possession and use of counterfeit money: better take the side of legality
Finding one or more counterfeit banknotes in your hands is not something unimaginable: the illegal masterpieces of counterfeiters are seriously endangering the money market.
Counterfeit banknotes, increasingly difficult to distinguish from real ones, can create many problems for those who hold them and continue to use them by putting them back into circulation. How many times do you hear the phrase: “but I didn’t know anything about it! I didn’t agree that I had a fake banknote”. A phrase that comes from the mouth of someone who, in most cases unaware of the legality of the money with which he has just made a purchase, makes it come out of his trembling mouth, opening his eyes wide in fear. Yes, because you have to be afraid! Possession and use of counterfeit money are crimes, and the risks involved are so many and not insignificant.
However, often, the first sentence indicated as an excellent excuse does not always come out of the mouth of those unaware (this is why the expression “… in most cases”). A small clarification to make it clear that this short article is aimed at those who, in good faith, had not noticed that they were handling counterfeit banknotes and paid for any product in a business. Therefore, the following is aimed primarily at those who love to live legally, direct them on the right tracks, and avoid unpleasant surprises.
What is the risk with the possession and use of counterfeit money?
Many wonders, especially those who are well within the large group of good guys, that is, those who love legality, what you risk paying, without realizing it, with a fake banknote.
Let’s avoid going the long way and get straight to the point by pointing out, on a legal level, the difference between possession and use of counterfeit money. The Italian law is strict with those who swap fake money with willfulness but turns a blind eye to those who have it. What does it mean? Analyzing what has just been said, it is possible to state that having a fake banknote with you, keeping it at home or in your wallet, is not a crime.
What happens if the city, unaware of having received a fake banknote, pays for a product and the merchant realizes the illegality of the money? Here, this is precisely the moment in which the hypothesis of a crime is triggered. Remember the sentence from the first paragraph? Boom! The honest citizen’s heart bursts, and the same sentence, with difficulty, comes out of his mouth. Has he committed a crime?
You are confused, aren’t you? Let’s clarify once and for all to understand what you risk with the possession and use of counterfeit money:
A crime is committed only when one has the intention (willful misconduct) to sell counterfeit banknotes; The mere possession of false money does not constitute a crime;
if there is good faith, i.e. you were not in any way aware of the falsity of the money used, you cannot speak of a crime (in this case, the element of voluntariness is missing, a point of reference for fully configuring the criminal case ).
What to do?
Having clarified the difference between possession and use of counterfeit money, let’s see what to do when you realize that you are holding a fake banknote in your hands.
As has already been indirectly saying, it is good to know that money must not be spent. Otherwise, one falls back into the hypothesis of dealing with fake money. The best thing to do is go to any bank and have the banknote checked, which will be withdrawn if declared as false. There is no financial compensation, but a copy of the counterfeit banknote and a specific report will be issued upon