Counterfeiting goods and items is a crime in the state of California. It is also illegal to possess counterfeit items for the purpose of defrauding someone else. This crime gets prosecuted using Penal Code 475.
You can be convicted under PC 475 as either a misdemeanor or a felony. Convictions can result in fines and incarceration. The Simmrin Law Group can help you learn more about fighting a possession of counterfeit items charge.
The Possession of Counterfeit Items in California
The possession of counterfeit items is a type of forgery under California law. The state prosecutes violations of PC 475 as white-collar crimes. Individuals can be convicted of this crime if they acted to defraud someone else. Defrauding someone involves using dishonesty to trick them.
However, the possession of counterfeit materials only applies to certain acts of forgery. PC 475 charges are enforced if a person intends to defraud someone else by means of a forged item or by way of an unfinished or completed check.
Individuals must have a counterfeited item in their possession to face a PC 475 conviction in California. They must also know that the item is forged. The possession of counterfeit items is a crime of intent.
Crimes of intent focus on whether the person committing the crime did so with purpose. Individuals must intend to defraud someone to face a PC 475 conviction. PC 475 charges should not apply if someone accidentally passed on a forged item or check.
For a free legal consultation with a possession of counterfeit items lawyer serving California, call (310) 896-2723
Similar Charges to PC 475
California uses a host of charges to prosecute white-collar crimes. Many of these offenses are similar to the crime of possession of counterfeit items. Examples of other charges you could face include counterfeit marks or seals and forgery.
These charges prosecute individuals who counterfeit or forge items. You do not have to forge or counterfeit the item yourself to face PC 475 charges. This charge only applies to those who possess fraudulent items.
California Possession of Counterfeit Items Lawyer Near Me (310) 896-2723
Legal Penalties Associated With PC 475
Individuals can face either misdemeanor or felony charges for a PC 475 violation. PC 475 is a “wobbler” charge. Prosecutors look at an individual’s criminal record when deciding how to prosecute the possession of counterfeit items. They also consider the facts of the current crime.
Misdemeanor and felony charges are not handled the same way in California. A misdemeanor conviction under PC 475 could result in one year of jail time, while individuals convicted of a felony face up to three years of prison time.
The court may also order probation in certain cases involving possession of counterfeit items. Reach out to a criminal defense lawyer in Los Angeles for help handling these charges.
Can a Penal Code 475 Charge Be Expunged?
If you have been convicted of a charge under PC 475, you may be able to get the conviction expunged from your record. In order to expunge a charge, a few conditions must be met. If you were convicted of a misdemeanor charge, you should be eligible to get your conviction expunged after completing your time in jail or on probation.
However, things get more complicated if you were convicted of a felony charge. Serving time in prison disqualifies you from eligibility. If your felony charge results in time in jail or on probation, rather than time in prison, you may still be able to get the conviction expunged from your record.
When attempting to strike a charge from your record, your odds will greatly improve if you have a criminal defense lawyer helping with your petition for expungement. Contact the team at the Simmrin Law Group today.
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Does a Conviction Under PC 475 Count as a Strike Under California’s “Three Strikes Law”?
Getting convicted of possessing counterfeit items will not result in a strike on your record under California’s Three Strikes Law. Strikes are only handed out for violent or serious felonies. Even if you get convicted of a felony under PC 475, the crime is not violent and is not considered serious.
Legal Defenses Available Under PC 475
You have options available if you get accused of possession of counterfeit items. The team at the Simmrin Law Group can help you construct your defense and argue that:
- You didn’t know you had a forged item in your possession
- You were falsely accused
- You didn’t mean to defraud anyone
You didn’t Know You Had a Forged Item in Your Possession
PC 475 is a crime of intent. This means that you had to have known you had a counterfeit item. You must also intend to defraud someone else with that item. If you thought you had a legitimate item, your lawyer may be able to help you avoid a PC 475 conviction.
You Were Falsely Accused
Not all criminal accusations made in California are legitimate. Sometimes, people get accused of crimes they didn’t commit. False accusations can occur either by malice or as a case of mistaken identity. In either case, your lawyer can help you fight back.
You didn’t Mean to Defraud Anyone
You must deliberately act to defraud someone out of money or goods in order to face a conviction under PC 475 in California. If you accidentally offered someone a counterfeit item, your lawyer can help you fight this charge.
Fight Penal Code 475 Charges with the Simmrin Law Group
Were you accused of possession of counterfeit items in California? The Simmrin Law Group can help you build your legal defense. Reach out to our criminal defense lawyers in Los Angeles for help. You can call us or fill out our online contact form.
Contact us today for a free consultation. A member of our team will review your case and answer any questions you may have. We will explain all of your legal options to you and advise you on the pros and cons of each.