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Potential penalties for trademark counterfeiting

When a person in Pennsylvania is charged with trademark counterfeiting, the penalties imposed if convicted depends on whether it is a first offense as well as the number of items he or she has in his or possession when caught. The offense can be charged as a misdemeanor or a felony.

Trademark counterfeiting occurs when a person makes, advertises, displays, offers for sale or sells items that have a counterfeited mark on them. If the person has never been convicted of trademark counterfeiting before, the offense is punishable as a first degree misdemeanor if the items number fewer than 100. Subsequent convictions for trademark counterfeiting are third degree felonies. First offenses may also be punished as third degree felonies if there are more than 100 but less than 1,000 counterfeited items involved with an aggregate value of greater than $2,000 but less than $10,000.

When people have been convicted twice or more of trademark counterfeiting, the offense can be punished as a second degree felony. Those who have more than 1,000 counterfeit items with a value exceeding $10,000 may also face the penalties associated with a second degree felony conviction.

People who are facing criminal charges have certain constitutional rights that they can assert while their case is pending. One of those rights is the right to a defense against the charges. People who are charged may wish to retain a criminal defense attorney as soon after the charges are filed as is possible. Seeking help early in the process can allow an attorney more time to properly investigate the case and prepare an effective defense to the allegations. An attorney may be able to assess the evidence held in connection to the case in order to make determinations regarding the best strategy to take.

Source: Pennsylvania General Assembly , "TRADEMARK COUNTERFEITING", December 10, 2014

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