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White Collar Crimes: Counterfeiting

Federal Criminal Attorneys in Miami Counterfeiting and forgery are both criminal offenses that can both be charged in state and federal court. Counterfeiting is an offenses usually associated with the illegal reproduction of legal tender or foreign currencies. While both state and federal authorities attempt to combat to reproduction and transfer of counterfeited legal tender and currencies, other forms of counterfeiting are being investigated and prosecuted. One of the most common offenses involves the counterfeiting of higher end watches, clothing, purses and jewelry. Defendants can be arrested by both local and federal authorities for this offense. Federal and local law enforcement authorities often work together in task forces. The severity of the offense(s) will largely determine whether the state of federal government will handle the prosecution.

Violations of the state counterfeiting laws include the forging or counterfeiting of private labels or goods that are protected by current copyright and trademark laws, checks and other legal instruments used in the banking industry, admission tickets to sporting events or concerts, medical documents and prescription slips and personal identification cards and drivers licenses issued by the State of Florida. Under Florida law, two types of offense can be charged when dealing with counterfeiting of private labels. Anyone who intentionally forges or counterfeits any type of goods or services protected by trademarks or service marks can be charged with the crime of counterfeiting. Likewise, anyone who sell or offers to sell goods or services with a forged trademarks or service marks can be charged with an offense.

The severity of the punishments under the laws of the State of Florida depends on the amount of the items bearing counterfeited marks. If the crime involves more than 100, but less than 1,000 items bearing counterfeited marks, the offense is a felony of the third degree punishable up to five years in prison. If the offenses involves more than 1,000 items, then the offense is a second degree felony punishable up to fifteen years in prison. If the number of items counterfeited or sold is less than 100, then the offense is a 1st degree misdemeanor which is punishable up to a year in jail.

Counterfeiting is a federal white collar crime that involves creating replicas or copies of documents, money, goods, clothing, or drugs and passing them off as authentic in nature. The Miami criminal attorneys at DMT have defended dozens of fraud related charges in federal court, always providing a zealous defense for their clients. Counterfeiting has long been associated with passing of fraudulent legal tender. However, it is far more common for the offense of counterfeiting to involve selling copies of designer clothing, accessories, or watches.

Counterfeiting is also associated with creating and selling copies of popular movies and delivering them to the general public. Making copies of certain items is counterfeiting only if the creator and seller intended to defraud the purchaser or receiver of the goods. The receiver of the goods can also be held accountable under federal law if that person accepts the good knowing that they are counterfeit. If both parties are aware that the goods are counterfeit, then the charge of criminal infringement can be levied by the federal government. The penalties for criminal infringement will not exceed ten years in prison. Like all federal crimes, the federal sentencing guidelines will dictate the potential sentence with the amount and value of the counterfeited items playing a large role in that determination.

Anyone being investigated for or having been indicted on counterfeiting charges should the advice of a federal criminal attorney with experience in federal court. The criminal defense team at DMT defends all types of white collar crime cases and regularly receives outstanding results for their clients. Trafficking in counterfeit goods is usually an interstate or international offense, and therefore regulated by the federal government. The penalties for committing a counterfeiting offense can be up to 20 years in prison and substantial fines. The potential sentence received for being convicted of this offense depends largely on the level of sophistication of the scheme, the mount of loss to the victims, and the number of those victimized by the fraud.

To speak with an experienced criminal Miami federal white collar crime attorney at DMT about your counterfeiting case or any type of federal case, or if you have questions regarding a matter involving any federal crime, please contact DMT to schedule a free consultation. You can call our office at (305) 340-2197 or reach us by completing the form on our contact page or by sending an e-mail. We are available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year to discuss your case.