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Penalties for possession of unstamped tobacco products; penalty for operation of unlicensed business or activity; procedure for enforcement and collection of penalties; costs and expenses

(a) Any person who possesses unstamped cigarettes or nontax-paid cigars, or little cigars, or loose or smokeless tobacco in violation of this chapter shall be liable for a penalty of not more than $50.00 for each individual carton of unstamped cigarettes and $50.00 for each individual nontax-paid carton of little cigars, box of cigars or container of loose or smokeless tobacco in his or her possession.
(b) Any person who engages in any business or activity for which a license is required by this chapter without first having obtained a license to do so or any person who continues to engage in or conduct the business after the person’s license has been revoked or during a suspension of the license shall be guilty of a misdemeanor of a high and aggravated nature and, upon conviction thereof, shall be subject to imprisonment for up to 12 months, a fine of not more than $5,000.00, or both.  Each day that the business is engaged in or conducted shall be deemed a separate offense.
(c) Proceedings to enforce and collect the penalties provided by this chapter shall be brought by and in the name of the commissioner.  With respect to offenses committed within the territorial jurisdiction of the court, each superior court shall have jurisdiction to enforce and collect the penalty.  The costs recoverable in any such proceeding shall be recovered by the commissioner in the event of judgment in the commissioner’s favor.  If the judgment is for the defendant, it shall be without costs against the commissioner.  All expenses incident to the recovery of any penalty pursuant to this Code section shall be paid in the same manner as any other expense incident to the administration of this chapter.

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