Felonies Reduced to Misdemeanors After Craigslist Sting Uncovered Counterfeit DVDs

RELEASED: FEB. 25, 2011

RALEIGH, NC - A Raleigh man turned to the criminal defense law firm of Roberts Law Group PLLC to defend against felony counterfeit distribution charges after he was caught in a Craigslist sting. The man was accused of selling counterfeit child education DVDs. At the time of his arrest, the man had close to 200 sets of pirated DVD collections in his possession.

The crime that the Raleigh man was accused of committing is common in North Carolina. Many people are unclear on the copyright rules for DVDs, CDs and other electronics that are often illegally copied and sold for profit. Other items, such as fashion apparel and purses, are other common counterfeit pieces. While copying videos or CDs and selling them for a profit may seem like an easy way to make money, it is illegal in North Carolina. Getting caught possessing or selling counterfeit merchandise can be a serious criminal accusation.

Criminal attorney Patrick Roberts needed to take quick action to defend his client against the two counts of felony counterfeit distribution. Raleigh criminal lawyer Roberts argued to the Assistant District Attorney in Wake County that his client was not a hardened criminal who regularly broke the law in an effort to make money illegally, but instead, was a loving father who misunderstood the law. Mr. Roberts was able to rely on his understanding of the reason his client possessed the illegal DVDs to negotiate the two felony charges down to two misdemeanor charges. This was important for Mr. Roberts' client because the misdemeanor charges will have less of an impact on his client's job opportunities in the future.

In this case, Mr. Roberts' client was also facing an initial restitution request from the educational DVD company of nearly $200,000 for the alleged damage done by the copying and selling of the DVDs. This figure represented the company's potential loss of revenue as well as the alleged impact on the company's goodwill. In negotiating the reduced charges, the restitution was also decreased to a much more manageable $20,000.

While this criminal case enveloped a Raleigh man who thought he was acting legally, it's important to know that if you are caught pirating goods, whether it's DVDs, CDs, video games or apparel, the consequences can be serious. If you are charged with a counterfeit possession or distribution charge, it is important to seek guidance on how to proceed from a skilled defense lawyer. A knowledgeable Raleigh criminal attorney, like the attorneys at Roberts Law Group PLLC, can guide you through the complex North Carolina criminal process.

DISCLAIMER: The cases, facts and outcomes discussed in this press release are illustrative of the matters handled by the firm. Actual case results depend on a variety of factors unique to each case. Not all of the firm's case results are included on this site. The outcome of a particular case cannot be predicated upon a lawyer's or law firm's past result because prior results do not guarantee a similar outcome.


For more information about the Roberts Law Group, see the criminal defense website and criminal defense blog. Attorney Patrick Roberts defends against sex crime charges, DWI charges and abuse charges, among others in Raleigh. To contact criminal lawyer Patrick Roberts, please contact the law firm or call 866-630-2389 for a free consultation. Roberts Law Group can also be followed on Facebook at facebook.com/nc.criminal.defense.

North Carolina v. J.S.
Accusation:
Indecent Exposure
Potentially Facing: 30 days in Jail
Result: Case Dismissed

Roberts Law Group acted quickly, meeting with the DA’s office to mitigate on behalf of their client, who had no prior criminal history. The Defendant had cooperated fully with the officer. At defense counsel’s prompting, the ADA spoke with his Law Enforcement Officers and determined that Defendant had been through enough already. Dismissed on the first court date.