New York Counterfeiting Charges Defense Lawyers
Being charged with counterfeiting crimes in New York can be an intimidating and stressful experience. However, with the right defense lawyer on your side, there are options to fight the charges and seek the best possible outcome. This article provides an overview of common New York counterfeiting charges, potential defenses, and how an experienced criminal defense attorney can help.
Overview of New York Counterfeiting Laws
There are both state and federal laws that prohibit various types of counterfeiting activities in New York. Some of the most common charges include:
- Trademark Counterfeiting – Under New York Penal Law 165.71, it is illegal to intentionally manufacture, sell or possess goods bearing a counterfeit trademark with intent to deceive others. There are varying degrees based on the retail value of the goods.
- Counterfeit Currency – Federal law 18 USC 471 prohibits creating, altering, or possessing counterfeit US currency with intent to defraud. Penalties can be up to 20 years in prison.
- Counterfeit Instruments – Federal law also prohibits counterfeiting checks, money orders, stocks, bonds and other financial instruments.
- Counterfeit Drugs – Federal Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act prohibits trafficking in counterfeit, misbranded or adulterated drugs.
- Counterfeit Military Goods – Trafficking counterfeit US military uniforms, equipment or documents can bring federal charges.
The penalties for state and federal counterfeiting crimes can be severe depending on the circumstances and dollar value involved. It’s critical to have an experienced NY criminal defense lawyer review the specifics of your case.
Possible Defenses to Counterfeiting Charges
While counterfeiting cases can seem daunting, there are often viable defenses an attorney can raise on your behalf. Some potential defenses include:
- Lack of Knowledge – One of the key elements prosecutors must prove is that you knowingly trafficked in counterfeit goods. Your lawyer can argue you were an unwitting seller who did not realize items were fake.
- No Intent to Defraud – The state must prove you intended to mislead or cheat others with the counterfeits. Your attorney can argue you had no such criminal intent.
- Illegal Search – If evidence was obtained through an unconstitutional search, your lawyer can file a motion to suppress it.
- Entrapment – This defense claims you were improperly induced by police to commit the crime.
- Statute of Limitations – Federal counterfeiting charges must be brought within 5 years, state charges within 2 years.
- Lack of Evidence – By picking apart the prosecution’s case, an attorney can often get charges reduced or dismissed.
Why Hire an Experienced NY Counterfeiting Lawyer?
Fighting state or federal counterfeiting charges requires an attorney well-versed in these complex laws. A knowledgeable lawyer will:
- Thoroughly examine the prosecution’s evidence and devise defense strategies
- Understand the technicalities of counterfeiting laws to exploit weaknesses
- Have experience negotiating with prosecutors to get charges reduced
- Be prepared to take your case to trial if necessary
- Guide you through the criminal justice process and protect your rights
Do not try to navigate counterfeiting charges alone. The stakes are too high. Retain an attorney with specific experience defending counterfeiting cases in New York. They will analyze the charges, spot issues, and build the strongest defense giving you the best chance of success.
Consequences of a NY Counterfeiting Conviction
If convicted of felony counterfeiting charges in New York, potential consequences include:
- Jail Time – Felony convictions can result in years in state prison depending on the severity of the charges and your criminal history. Even misdemeanor counterfeiting carries up to 1 year in jail.
- Fines – Courts can impose hefty fines up to $250,000 for felony counterfeiting convictions under state law. Fines over $1 million are possible under federal law.
- Probation – Courts often impose probation lasting 1-5 years with strict conditions rather than prison time for first-time offenders. Violating probation leads to incarceration.
- Restitution – You may have to pay restitution to trademark owners equal to the retail value of counterfeit goods.
- Asset Forfeiture – Police can seize assets like bank accounts, vehicles and real estate connected to your crime.
- Loss of Rights – A felony conviction results in losing the right to vote, possess firearms, hold public office and serve on a jury.
- Immigration Issues – Non-citizens charged with counterfeiting may face deportation.
- Employment Issues – Many employers conduct background checks and will not hire those with criminal records.
- Reputation Damage – Counterfeiting convictions remain on your public record permanently and can harm your reputation.
Finding the Right NY Counterfeiting Defense Lawyer
If you or a loved one is facing counterfeiting charges in New York, it is critical to retain an experienced criminal defense attorney immediately. Here are some tips on finding the best lawyer:
- Look for an attorney with extensive experience specifically defending counterfeiting charges in NY courts. Check their background and case results.
- Choose a lawyer well-versed in both New York state counterfeiting laws and federal statutes. You need someone able to handle either type of charge.
- Select an aggressive litigator ready to file motions, negotiate with prosecutors and take your case to trial if needed.
- Find an attorney you feel comfortable with and who will protect your interests. Make sure they are responsive and explain the process.
- Beware of lawyers making unrealistic promises or guarantees. No one can guarantee a particular outcome.
- Ask about fees and costs upfront. Top lawyers are not cheap but provide value through strong advocacy.
Do not leave your fate to chance. Hire the most experienced and reputable NY counterfeiting defense lawyer you can afford. This could make all the difference in avoiding harsh penalties if convicted, or even beating the charges altogether. With an attorney fiercely defending your rights, justice can still prevail.