What Is the Crime of Uttering?

What Is the Crime of Uttering?

The crime of uttering is committed when someone, with intent to defraud, knowingly sells, publishes, attempts to sell, passes or utters a forged, falsely made, altered or counterfeited obligation, document or security, according to Cornell University. In the United States, the crime carries a penalty of imprisonment of up to 20 years, a fine or both, if an obligation or security of the U.S. is involved.

The distinction between the crimes of uttering and forgery is that forgery is the creation of a false document, while uttering refers to the act of knowingly using that forged document. An individual only needs to knowingly pass on or use a forged document made by someone else to be guilty of uttering.