Many high-end products use distinctive marks to set themselves apart from other goods. Individuals who try to counterfeit these marks to sell knock-off goods can be prosecuted under California Penal Code Section 350: Manufacturing or Selling a Counterfeit Mark.
Manufacturing or selling a counterfeit mark can be considered a felony in California. The Simmrin Law Group can help you go over the exact definition of this criminal charge. You can also review the most common penalties for a PC 350 conviction right here.
Defining the Manufacture or Sale of a Counterfeit Mark
California uses PC 350 to prosecute individuals who:
- Create a Counterfeit Mark
- Sell a Counterfeit Mark OR
- Possess a Counterfeit Mark for Sale
Individuals must act knowingly for PC 350 charges to apply. This means that an individual must know or reasonably believe that a mark is counterfeited to be charged under PC 350. Note that businesses can also be charged under PC 350.
Defining Counterfeit Marks in California
It may be useful to go over the specific definition of a counterfeit mark in California. Counterfeit marks are replications of a registered brand or trademark. Companies can register brands or trademarks with the:
- United States Patent and Trademark Office
- California Secretary of State
Once a brand or trademark is registered with either of these organizations, other people are no longer allowed to duplicate it to sell other products.
Legal Penalties for a PC 350 Conviction in California
The court system in California handles manufacturing or selling a counterfeit mark much like petty theft and grand theft accusations. As with theft crimes, PC 380 can be prosecuted as either a misdemeanor or a felony. Prosecutors generally look at the following factors when determining how to charge PC 350:
- The Number of Counterfeit Items
- The Total Value of the Counterfeit Items
PC 350 violations are always treated as misdemeanors if an individual:
- Counterfeits Less Than 1,000 Items
- Counterfeits Items Worth Less than $950
Misdemeanor convictions for manufacturing or selling a counterfeit mark can result in:
- Up to One Year of Jail Time
- Up to $10,000 in Fines
Individuals who counterfeit more than 1,000 items or counterfeit items worth more than $950 may be charged with a misdemeanor or a felony. Felony convictions can lead to:
- Up to Three Years in Jail
- Up to $500,000 in Fines
Note that these penalties are only applicable to individuals charged with PC 350. A business accused of manufacturing or selling a counterfeit mark can face fines up to $1,000,000.
Sentencing Exceptions for PC 350 Charges
The sentencing process for manufacturing or selling a counterfeit can grow more complicated in some cases. Individuals or businesses that are convicted of a second or subsequent PC 350 charges may, for example, face increased fines of:
- Up to $100,000 for an Individual Misdemeanor Charge
- Up to $400,000 for a Business Misdemeanor Charge
Additionally, counterfeiting products that lead to great bodily injury or death can result in harsh legal penalties. Individuals can face up to four years of time in jail if someone else is hurt or killed due to a counterfeited product they manufactured or sold.
Go Over Possible Defenses for PC 350 Accusations
A criminal defense lawyer in Los Angeles may be able to help you handle PC 350 accusations. You can get answers about your legal options by contacting a professional legal team now. A lawyer may be able to construct your defense to show that:
You Did Not Realize the Marks Were Counterfeit
Some sellers receive counterfeited goods without realizing what has happened. If you had reason to believe that you were selling legitimate products, you should not face a conviction for manufacturing or selling a counterfeit mark.
You Were Subjected to an Illegal Search and Seizure
Sometimes, law enforcement officers overstep their duties. If you were subjected to an illegal search and seizure, any evidence against you could be considered inadmissible in court. A criminal defense lawyer can review your situation to see if this defense would work for you.
Deal with PC 350 Charges by Contacting a Criminal Defense Lawyer
You can immediately increase the odds that you will successfully resolve California Penal Code Section 350: Manufacturing or Selling a Counterfeit Mark charges by getting legal help. Contact the Simmrin Law Group’s criminal defense lawyers in Los Angeles to start working on a defense now. You can call (310) 997-4688 or fill out our online contact form to reach us.
Begin getting the legal answers you need today with a FREE consultation about your case.