Counterfeiting is a form of fraud. Counterfeiting occurs when you forge money, documents, tickets, clothing, drugs, or goods and represent them to be the genuine product. Counterfeiting becomes a criminal offense when you attempt to defraud someone by selling or passing along the counterfeit item. For example, if you create DVD copies of a popular Hollywood movie without permission and sell these movies to the public, then you are guilty of the crime of counterfeiting. You may also face criminal trademark and copyright infringement charges, as well as, patent infringement laws. Additionally, if you bought the DVDs with the knowledge that they were "knockoffs" then you too could face counterfeit charges.
A conviction of counterfeiting can carry with it harsh penalties. For instance, Title 18, United States Code, Section 472 is the federal law pertaining to counterfeit fraud, and it states that individuals may be sentenced to as much as 20 year in prison for producing, trafficking, selling, or possessing counterfeited U.S. securities. Another example includes criminal infringement. Title 17, United States Code, Section 506(a)(1)(A) (the federal law that pertains to the copying and selling of movies without permission) establishes that criminal infringement can occur in one of three ways:
- Purposefully seeking commercial or personal financial gain
- Reproducing/distributing works with a total value of more than $1,000 in 180-day period
- Making works prepared for commercial distribution available to the public
This same statute states that all those guilty of criminal infringement will be punished according to the guidelines set out in Title 18, United States Code, Section 2319. The penalty for a conviction under Section 2319 can vary depending on the amount and value of material illegally copied. However, a person may face up to ten years in prison for multiple violations of this section. If you are facing counterfeit charges, it is crucial to secure the help of an Atlanta federal criminal defense lawyer who can ensure that your rights are protected throughout your legal proceedings.
Atlanta Federal Criminal Defense Attorney
The crime of counterfeiting is a serious matter. You face not only federal charges but potentially State of Georgia indictments. Due to the number and complexity of issues that accompany counterfeiting charges, hiring an attorney with experience in handling such matters can mean the difference between freedom and jail time. Our legal team has more than 55 years of combined experience defending individuals against charges such as counterfeiting, and we are immediately available to assist you in your case. By employing an aggressive approach that utilizes the full resources of our firm, you will have a much greater chance of obtaining a case outcome that is favorable to you.
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