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Counterfeiting Arrests in Connecticut (Part 1 of 2)

Counterfeiting Arrests in Connecticut
(Part 1 of 2)

The fancy shops and boutiques of Greenwich, Westport, Stamford and New Canaan Connecticut attract shoppers from all around the tri-state area. However, as the top Stamford and Greenwich criminal lawyers have observed, they also attract a significant number of counterfeiting crimes, resulting in arrests in Stamford, Greenwich and Fairfield Connecticut for counterfeiting and forgery. In fact, counterfeiting is not only a crime, but it is also a profitable and illegal business enterprise. You see, the best Connecticut criminal attorneys and lawyers know that counterfeiting does not just apply to the production of fake money or government instruments for financial gain, but it also includes illegally replicating, altering and selling trademarked goods and merchandise, like movies, designer handbags, leather goods and sneakers. Connecticut Counterfeiting arrests typically arise from from online scams, flea markets, and street vendor arrests in Connecticut’s largest cities. Counterfeiting in any form is a serious offense and as any top Stamford or Darien Connecticut criminal lawyer will tell you, Connecticut law enforcement officials are cracking down on counterfeiting stings by raiding local stores as well as aggressively investigating counterfeit money stings. So if you are arrested for counterfeiting goods, purses, United States currency, government bonds or other instruments, you should contact a top Stamford, Danbury, or Greenwich Connecticut counterfeiting lawyer for a consultation.

Counterfeit Money Arrests in Connecticut - Forgery in the First Degree – CGS 53a-138

The most common counterfeiting arrest in Connecticut is the act of counterfeiting money. But Connecticut counterfeiting law also prohibits the act of manufacturing fake securities, stamps, stocks, bonds, or government instruments, also known as Forgery in the First Degree under C.G.S. § 53a-138. The best Connecticut criminal counterfeiting lawyers make it illegal for someone, with the intention to defraud, to falsely and knowingly make, alter, issue or possess a forged written instrument that is represented as money, securities, stamps, valuable government instruments, bonds or stocks. Using counterfeit money to make purchases is illegal under this section. This crime is a Class C felony. So if you are arrested in Stamford or Greenwich Connecticut for Forgery in the First Degree, you can face a maximum jail sentence of 10 years, probation and face up to $10,000 in fines. Click here for more information on Forgery and how to fight a Forgery arrest in Connecticut.

Counterfeiting Goods – Statute & Penalties

Counterfeiting goods and merchandise is prohibited under Connecticut criminal law per penal code section C.G.S. 53-347a (click here for the full text of the law). This law lays out a wide range of prohibited conduct, which can be difficult for even a top Stamford criminal lawyer or top Danbury Connecticut criminal attorney to understand. It is broken down into three different sections.

The first section, CGS 53-347a(a) declares it illegal to: (1) use or counterfeit a manufacturer’s label with the intention of defrauding someone, or (2) sell or offer to sell goods that you know bear a phony label, without disclosing this fact to the buyer. For example, if you sell a purse that bears an unauthorized reproduction of a Gucci label, without informing the buyer that it is not authentic, then you can be arrested in Stamford, Greenwich, or New Haven Connecticut for Counterfeiting Goods.

The second and third sections under the Connecticut counterfeiting statute, CGS 53-347a(b) and a(c) deal with illegally tampering with and affixing trademarks and logos to fake products and merchandise. The statute declares it illegal to intentionally, fraudulently and deceptively (1) affix a trademark or an unauthorized imitation of a trademark to goods, (2) place goods in a lawfully trademarked package other than those for which the trademark is designed, or (3) sell or possess with the intention of selling any of the goods described above. Conduct that would be prohibited under this sub-section of the Connecticut Counterfeiting Goods statute would include putting an authentic Nike symbol on a pair of sneakers that are not in fact Nikes, or placing those non-Nike sneakers in a trademarked Nike package, in order to pass them off to an unsuspecting buyer.

Maximum Statutory Fine for a 53-347 Counterfeiting Goods Arrest is $250,000

As the top Fairfield and Norwalk criminal lawyers know, one unusual aspect of Connecticut Counterfeiting Goods law is the exposure to exorbitantly high fines. Counterfeiting Goods arrests in Stamford, Greenwich and Darien Connecticut are considered Class D felonies, meaning that if you are found guilty of Counterfeiting Goods 53-347 under any of the three sections of this statute, then you can be sentenced to up to 5 years in prison. But then the statute diverges from a typical Connecticut Class D Felony arrest. If you are found guilty after an arrest in Stamford, Greenwich or Westport Connecticut for Counterfeiting Goods under CGS 53-347, you can be fined up to $250,000. This high fine amount is meant to protect manufacturers who invest millions of dollars in protecting their merchandise such as sneakers and handbags. It is also meant to send a message to counterfeiters who are usually more concerned about their money than jail time. So if you are arrested for Counterfeiting Goods in Connecticut under CGS 53-347, be sure to contact a top Stamford Connecticut Counterfeiting criminal lawyer who can work with you and attempt to protect you from ridiculously high fine amounts and jail sentences.

Conspiracy Arrests in Connecticut Counterfeiting Arrests

One common police pressure tactic in Connecticut counterfeiting arrests takes place when police and prosecutors tack on a 53a-48 Conspiracy arrest charge to a Stamford Connecticut counterfeiting arrest. Aggressive police detectives often believe that a counterfeiting scam starts with a ring of counterfeiters, and they believe if they can scare one participant enough into believing they are going to jail for a majority of their lifetime, then they can perhaps pressure them to squeal on other conspirators. Don’t fall victim to these aggressive police interrogation tactics. Always exercise your constitutional right to speak to a top Connecticut criminal lawyer before making any statements to a police officer. Click here for more information on Stamford and Greenwich Connecticut conspiracy arrests.

Continue Reading…Counterfeiting Arrests, Part 2 of 2
(Fighting Counterfeiting Arrests in Connecticut; Federal Counterfeiting Arrests, and more)