When you hear the word ‘counterfeit,’ you may think of counterfeit money or forged documents. However, selling counterfeit goods such as knock-off handbags or clothing is also a serious criminal offense under California Penal Code 350. Counterfeit goods cases often involve an individual accused of selling a cheaper item for a higher price because it has a counterfeit logo of a high-end brand such as Louis Vuitton, Prada, or Gucci. If you have been charged with counterfeiting goods in California, you could face severe penalties such as imprisonment and a felony conviction that can impact every area of your life.
Fortunately, if you have been arrested for counterfeiting goods, you have the right to fight the charges against you. Since the stakes are so high, it is critical to contact an experienced criminal defense attorney as soon as possible. Your attorney will make sure you understand the charges against you and work with you to craft the best possible defense strategy.
What Are the Penalties for Counterfeiting Goods in California?
The severity of the charges you face depends on how many counterfeit goods you are accused of making, selling, or possessing with the intent to sell and their combined value. If you possess less than 1,000 items bearing a counterfeit trademarked logo or if the total value of the items is less than $950, your case will be charged as a misdemeanor. Those convicted of the charge could face up to one year in jail and a fine of up to $10,000.
If you are accused of possessing over 1,000 counterfeit items or the value of the items is valued over $950, it is up to the prosecutor to decide whether to charge you with a misdemeanor or a felony. If the prosecutor opts for the felony charge, you could face up to 3 years in prison and fines of up to $500,000 if convicted. If you have been convicted of counterfeiting goods in the past, you may face even steeper penalties.
Possible Defenses against Counterfeit Goods Charges in California
To be convicted for counterfeiting goods, the prosecution must prove that you made, sold, or possessed the counterfeit goods with the intent to sell them knowingly and willingly. Some common defenses against counterfeit goods charges include:
- You did not know that the goods you possessed were counterfeit.
- You simply possessed the counterfeit goods with no intention to sell them.
- The police performed an unlawful search and seizure to obtain the evidence for the charges against you.
Your attorney will take the time to get to know you and the details of your case and work with you to develop the best defense for your unique situation.
Speak to a Trusted California Defense Attorney
If you are facing counterfeit goods charges in California, you may feel stressed and overwhelmed. Since the penalties for conviction are so severe, it is in your best interest to challenge the charges against you with the help of a skilled criminal defense attorney. Attorney Dod of Dod Law, APC, has 17 years of experience helping clients across California defend their rights and achieve favorable outcomes for their cases. When you partner with Attorney Dod, you can rest assured that you have an assertive advocate on your side who knows the ins and outs of California law. Give us a call at (619) 814-5110 or reach out through our contact form to schedule a free and confidential consultation to discuss the details of your case.