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Penalty For Selling Counterfeit “Knockoff” Items In New York


New York’s various street markets are famous for selling fake luxury goods, knockoff clothing, and various other counterfeit items. If you unwittingly purchase one of these items, the worst you can expect is a feeling of being played. If you sell any of these items, you face much more severe consequences. The penalties for selling counterfeit items in New York are serious, and you should keep this in mind if you’ve been caught engaging in this activity.

Of course, the best thing to do in this situation is to get in touch with a qualified criminal defense attorney as soon as possible. These legal experts can help you avoid potential consequences, and their assistance might make all the difference. While selling counterfeit goods is illegal in the Empire State, one might argue that this is an example of a “victimless” crime. No one actually gets hurt due to counterfeit items, and guilty parties should not face unnecessarily harsh penalties as a result.

Trademark Counterfeiting 

If you sell knockoff items in New York, you may be charged with trademark counterfeiting. In order to be guilty of this crime, you need to purposely copy the exact branding or notable features of another established item. For example, you might copy the “Medusa” icon of Versace on a handbag. You can also face penalties if you purposely copy certain features, such as the iconic three stripes of Adidas. That being said, you cannot be charged with this crime if the item simply looks similar to one already in production by another brand. In order to be found guilty, the item has to look almost identical.


Trademark counterfeiting in the third degree is a class A misdemeanor. However, this might not be the most severe consequence you might face. The actual brand that you were counterfeiting may come after you and sue you for damages. In some cases, they can demand up to three times the profit you earned from selling the counterfeit items, and they can even go after your home and possessions if you’re not able to pay.


In New York, it is not illegal to simply own counterfeit items. It is also not illegal to buy counterfeit items. The only way you can face criminal charges is if you participate in the act of selling the items in some way. This means that you can store as many counterfeit items as you like, and simply getting caught with a trunk full of fake designer handbags is technically not a crime. You’re also innocent if you had no idea the items were counterfeit in the first place.

Enlist the Help of a Qualified Attorney Today 

If you’ve been charged with counterfeiting contact a skilled New York criminal defense attorney. Choose Phillip J. Murphy, Attorney at Law, and you can approach this matter in a confident, efficient way. Some brands take copyright laws very seriously, and it’s important to plan a strong legal defense. Book your consultation today, and we can develop an action plan together.



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Phillip J. Murphy,
Attorney At Law
Free Consultations Calls Answered and returned 24/7 Phone: (845) 639-6600 Fax: (845) 639-6620

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New City, New York 10956

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Phillip J. Murphy, Attorney At Law is located in New City, New York and serves clients in and around New York, New Jersey & Connecticut. Contact our experienced criminal defense law firm.
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