This act is a federal and state crime, Counterfeiting implies the manufacturing or distribution of goods that imitate something authentic, and therefore, without the authorization of the person or company that owns the original goods. The purpose of this crime is to steal, destroy, or replace the original, for use in illegal transactions, or else to deceive consumers into believing that the fake has an equal or better value than the real good.
Counterfeiting crime comes under Forgery crime. It has separate penal codes and punishments according to the nature of the crime and circumstances of the case. For example, if a person is involved in making unauthorized products and goods of a famous brand and without copyright permission then he will be charged under the counterfeiting crime. Another type of counterfeiting case is the falsification of bank notes or commonly known as bills which is treated as a separate crime from forgery in various ways and it's also punishable under separate penal codes.
Counterfeiting Crime Laws in California
California Penal Code Section 350 PC describes making or selling of counterfeit goods. In California statutes, making, manufacturing, stocking or selling any counterfeit goods or trade mark is illegal. It's considered as a forgery crime but actually it is punishable as California theft crime.
California Penal Code Section 475 PC describes possession of counterfeited items. Under this section an individual commits this crime, and is guilty of forgery, if he/she:
- Has or gets a duplicate or fake copy of a good with the goal to pass it on,
- Has an incomplete check with the plan of finishing it,
- Has a completed and finished check with the plan to pass it on.
Penalties of Counterfeiting in California
Under penal code section 350 PC if the item which is used in counterfeiting has a worth of less than $1000 then it is treated as misdemeanor crime in California and it's punished by one-year imprisonment in a county jail and a fine up to $10,000 for individual and $20,000 for business entity. And if the number of counterfeited items worth is more than $1000 then it becomes a wobbler meaning either it is treated as a felony or misdemeanor the penalty of this charge is 2,3 or 5-years in jail and a fine up to $50,000 for individuals and $100,000 for business entities.
Under penal code section 475 PC it is a wobbler crime. It will be treated as a felony or misdemeanor according to the nature and circumstances of the crime and case. It is punishable as misdemeanor to one year imprisonment in a county jail and as felony it is punishable with imprisonment of up to 3 years in jail.
- Lack of intent
- Insufficient Evidence
- False Accusation
- No knowledge
- Not for defraud
- Illegal search or seizure
Federal Criminal Defense Attorney California
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