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48-11-30

Penalty for sale or possession of counterfeit cigarettes

  • (a) Notwithstanding any other provision of law, the sale or possession for sale of counterfeit cigarettes by any person shall result in the seizure of the product and related machinery by the commissioner or his or her authorized agents and any law enforcement agency at the direction of the commissioner and shall be punishable as follows:
    • (1) A first violation with a total quantity of less than two cartons of cigarettes shall be punishable by a fine of $1,000.00 or five times the retail value of the cigarettes involved, whichever is greater, or imprisonment not to exceed five years, or both the fine and imprisonment;
    • (2) A subsequent violation with a total quantity of less than two cartons of cigarettes shall be punishable by a fine of $5,000.00 or five times the retail value of the cigarettes involved, whichever is greater, or imprisonment not to exceed five years, or both the fine and imprisonment;
    • (3) A first violation with a total quantity of two cartons of cigarettes or more shall be punishable by a fine of $2,000.00 or five times the retail value of the cigarettes involved, whichever is greater, or imprisonment not to exceed five years, or both the fine and imprisonment; and
    • (4) A subsequent violation with a quantity of two cartons of cigarettes or more shall be punishable by a fine of $50,000.00 or five times the retail value of the cigarettes involved, whichever is greater, or imprisonment not to exceed five years, or both the fine and imprisonment.
  • (b) An act committed by or on behalf of a licensed cigarette manufacturer, cigarette importer, cigarette distributor, or cigarette dealer in violation of paragraph (2) or (4) of subsection (a) of this Code section shall also result in the revocation of the license by the department pursuant to Code Section 48-11-6.
  • (c) Any counterfeit cigarette seized by or at the direction of the commissioner shall be destroyed by the commissioner or his or her designee. Any related machinery seized by or at the direction of the commissioner may be sold by the commissioner at public auction in accordance with the requirements of Code Section 48-11-9.

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