Trademark Counterfeiting: Texas Penal Code §32.23

Texas Criminal Law

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The Texas Trademark Counterfeiting law gives police the right to arrest you if they believe you displayed, advertised, distributed, sold, possessed with the intent to sell, or distributed a copied trademark or service mark or any product that carried such a fake mark.

The Texas legislature codified this criminal offense in Texas Penal Code Section 32.23. The legislature did not update this law in 2023. In fact, this law has not been amended since 2015.

The Penal Code classifies the Texas Trademark Counterfeiting law under Title 7 “Offenses Against Property,” Chapter 32 “Fraud.” Learn more about the Texas offense of Trademark Counterfeiting below.

What is the current Texas law about Trademark Counterfeiting?

Texas law currently defines the offense of Trademark Counterfeiting in Penal Code Section §32.23 as follows:[1]

(b) A person commits an offense if the person intentionally manufactures, displays, advertises, distributes, offers for sale, sells, or possesses with intent to sell or distribute a counterfeit mark or an item or service that:

(1) bears or is identified by a counterfeit mark; or

(2) the person knows or should have known bears or is identified by a counterfeit mark.

How can I be charged with a Trademark Counterfeiting offense in Texas?

You can be charged with Trademark Counterfeiting in Texas if the state’s attorneys believe that each of the elements of 32.23(b)(1) or (2), as described in the section above, have been met.

What is the statute of limitation for Trademark Counterfeiting in Texas?

Misdemeanor level Trademark Counterfeiting charges have a two-year limitations period.[2] Felony level offenses have a three-year limitations period.[3]

What is the penalty for a Texas Trademark Counterfeiting offense?

If the retail value of the item or service is less than $100 then a conviction for Trademark Counterfeiting in Texas is punished as a Class C misdemeanor,[4] with a maximum possible fine under Texas state law of up to $500.

If the retail value of the item or service is $100 or more but less than $750 then a conviction for Trademark Counterfeiting in Texas is punished as a Class B misdemeanor,[5] with a maximum possible fine under Texas state law of up to $2,000 and jail time of up to 180 days.

If the retail value of the item or service is $750 or more but less than $2,500 then a conviction for Trademark Counterfeiting in Texas is punished as a Class A misdemeanor,[6] with a maximum possible fine under Texas state law of up to $4,000 and jail time of up to one year.

If the retail value of the item or service is $2,500 or more but less than $30,000 then a conviction for Trademark Counterfeiting in Texas is punished as a State Jail Felony,[7] with a maximum possible fine under Texas state law of up to $10,000 and jail time of up to two years.

If the retail value of the item or service is $30,000 or more but less than $150,000 then a conviction for Trademark Counterfeiting in Texas is punished as a Felony of the Third Degree,[8] with a maximum possible fine under Texas state law of up to $10,000 and prison time of up to 10 years.

If the retail value of the item or service is $150,000 or more but less than $300,000 then a conviction for Trademark Counterfeiting in Texas is punished as a Felony of the Second Degree,[9] with a maximum possible fine under Texas state law of up to $10,000 and prison time of up to 20 years.

If the retail value of the item or service is $300,000 then a conviction for Trademark Counterfeiting in Texas is punished as a Felony of the First Degree,[10] with a maximum possible fine under Texas state law of up to $10,000 and up to life in prison.

Can you get probation for Trademark Counterfeiting in Texas?

The Texas Code of Criminal Procedure allows both judges and juries to grant probation for Trademark Counterfeiting, and judges are also allowed to accept deferred adjudication plea deals.[11]

Note, however, that no matter the offense, neither judges nor juries may recommend community supervision for any suspended sentence of over 10 years.[12] Also, judges may not grant community supervision after a conviction if (1) the defendant used or exhibited a deadly weapon during the commission of the felony or immediate flight thereafter and (2) the defendant used or exhibited the deadly weapon himself or was a party to the offense and knew that a deadly weapon would be used or exhibited.[13]

What level of crime is Trademark Counterfeiting in Texas?

The Penal Code classification of the punishment for Trademark Counterfeiting ranges from a Class C misdemeanor to a first degree felony, depending on the value of the item or service.

Learn more about the penalty range for this offense in the section above.


^1. Texas Penal Code §32.23. This law is current as of 2024.^2. Code of Criminal Procedure 12.02(a)^3. See Code of Criminal Procedure 12.01(9)^4. Texas Penal Code §32.23(e)(1)^5. Texas Penal Code §32.23(e)(2)^6. Texas Penal Code §32.23(e)(3)^7. Texas Penal Code §32.23(e)(4)^8. Texas Penal Code §32.23(e)(5)^9. Texas Penal Code §32.23(e)(6)^10. Texas Penal Code §32.23(e)(7)^11. See Chapter 42, Texas Code of Criminal Procedure, Art. 42A.054, Art. 42A.056, Art. 42A.102 .^12 Art. 42A.053(c), Texas Code of Criminal Procedure^13. Art. 42A.054(b), Texas Code of Criminal Procedure


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