Defense for Counterfeiting Charges
Punta Gorda Criminal Defense Attorney
Many may not realize that the United States Secret Services was organized
originally to enforce the laws against counterfeiting of U.S. currency
and U.S. treasury securities. The Secret Service is a branch of the Treasury
Department and the Treasury Department entrusts only a chosen few to the
process of manufacturing U.S. currency and securities. The illegal act
of making forgeries of coins, postage stamps, or similar regulated items
with the intention of passing them on as real and authentic is a federal
offense. The crime is usually committed for economic gain. Producing a
fake government securities document and cashing it in for real money is
a very serious crime.
Anyone engaging in counterfeiting, whether intentionally or unintentionally,
needs a well-crafted defense from an experienced
criminal defense firm. Leskovich Law Group, P.A. has been serving clients for over 25 years
and defending them against all types of criminal charges.
Types of Counterfeiting
It is against the law to sell or attempt to sell, possess, or manufacture
counterfeit goods or services. Counterfeiting products normally involve
using a fake company logo or brand that is the similar to the ones that
are well known and are protected by patent laws. The "knockoff"
toys, clothing, electronics, handbags, shoes, CDs, etc. are close to the
real thing but are typically of lower quality than the authentic items.
The forgeries are produced in a way to intentionally trick the consumer
into believing the bogus items are similar to the actual brand label products.
Some counterfeiting is quite sophisticated as in the area of forgeries
of artwork and the crime may be discovered long after the actual offense.
Other types of counterfeiting activities can involve military papers,
immigration documents, computer software, credit cards, pharmaceuticals, and more.
Patent and Trademark Infringement
The Trademark Counterfeiting Act of 1984 makes it a federal offense to
use, intentionally and without authorization, a trademark protected by
the copyright and patent laws. The laws were put in place to protect peoples'
creations while encouraging continued development of new ideas, arts,
and products. The laws protect those distinguishing features of trademarks
associated with certain names and designs and their services or products.
Trade secrets are also protected against counterfeiting laws.
Penalties for Counterfeiting
There are many kinds of counterfeiting activities. The penalties one can
face if found guilty of the crime can vary according to the severity of
the offenses. For instance, dealing in counterfeit military goods and
services or counterfeit drugs can carry a sentence for an individual of
20 years in prison and up to $500,000 in fines. A second or consecutive
offense can mean fines up to $15,000,000 and up to 30 years in prison.
For non-individuals the fines can range from $15,000,000 to $30,000,000.
In addition to criminal charges, the cases often involve civil lawsuit.
If you were arrested and charged with a serious counterfeiting crime or
you are being investigated, you should retain legal counsel immediately.
Having legal support and the protection of your constitutional rights
is important to have from the beginning of your case and throughout the
criminal process. The Punta Gorda criminal lawyer you choose to represent
you can make a difference in the outcome of your case. We provide an aggressive
defense and work tirelessly for our clients, defending them with the goal
of achieving the best possible case result. You can spend years in prison
and pay millions in fines if convicted of a counterfeiting crime. Find
out how Leskovich Law Group, P.A. can help with your criminal case.