What is False Instrument?

False Instrument offences, under the Forgery and Counterfeiting Act 1981 include:

  • Making false instrument;
  • Copying a false instrument;
  • Using a false instrument;
  • Using a copy of a false instrument;
  • Having custody or control of specific kinds of an instrument;
  • Making or having custody of machines, paper etc. for making instruments.

An “instrument” can be any number of documents but includes:

  • Postal stamps;
  • Share certificates
  • Inland Revenue stamps;
  • Discs, tapes or soundtracks on which information is stored;
  • Formal or informal documents.

The important requirements to be proven in order to convict for these offences is that there was an “intention to induce somebody to accept the instrument as genuine” meaning that there must have been intent to make another person believe the instrument was real, and that “by reason of so accepting it to do or not do some act to his own or any other person’s prejudice”, i.e. if the instrument were to be believed as being real, it would cause another person to suffer a form of loss.

Often cases of this type involve international documents. The Magistrates’ Court and Crown Court have jurisdiction to hear False Instrument cases provided a “relevant event” occurred in England or Wales, even if the accused was not in the jurisdiction at the time, or is not a British citizen.

What is the difference between Forgery and Counterfeiting?

Forgery is the act of creating, replicating, or utilizing a “false instrument” with the intention to deceive others. This can involve various documents or items of value, such as passports, signatures, banknotes, artwork, or other valuable objects. Some examples of documents that can be subject to forgery offenses include passports, driving licenses, contracts, birth certificates, cheques, and judicial documents. Depending on how a forged document is used, individuals may also face allegations of attempting to pervert the course of justice.

Counterfeiting, on the other hand, typically involves the unauthorized replication or production of currency notes or coins. Under the Forgery and Counterfeiting Act 1981, counterfeiting offenses can include making counterfeit currency notes or coins, passing off counterfeit notes or coins as genuine, possessing or controlling counterfeit currency, or importing/exporting counterfeit notes or coins. These acts are considered serious crimes due to their potential to undermine the integrity of financial systems and deceive the public.

What should you do if you've been charged with a False Instrument charge?

One of the most important things to do is seek legal advice. Getting the best possible advice is vital, and our team of expert Fraud lawyers can help you achieve the right outcome.

MK Law has solidified its position as a frontrunner in securing favourable outcomes for clients entangled in false instrument and forgery cases. With our extensive experience and proficiency in handling fraud-based criminal investigations, we stand apart in our ability to craft strong defences against allegations of fraud.

Our track record speaks volumes about our commitment to excellence and our capacity to navigate the complexities inherent in such cases. We have successfully represented clients at all levels of these investigations, including high-profile cases, and have consistently delivered results that safeguard our clients’ rights and interests.