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Cigarette Trafficking Violation of 58.1-1017 in Henrico, Hanover, Chesterfield, and Richmond area.

Cigarette Trafficking – §58.1-1017

Cigarette Trafficking

Recently, Virginia has been cracking down on Cigarette Trafficking.  Cigarette Trafficking  is a violation of §58.1-1017 (a copy of the code is provided below).  Due to increased taxes in other states, and Virginia’s relatively low tax there has been an increase in Cigarette Trafficking.  Large numbers of cigarettes are purchased in Virginia, and transported to another state to be sold.

Our lawyers have handled a number of these cases around the Commonwealth of Virginia.  There are many factors that go into defending a cigarette trafficking case.  Not only do the lawyers analyze the law, but they also look at the facts of each case to determine the most appropriate defense.  Depending on the circumstances Cigarette Trafficking may be punished as a misdemeanor of felony.  The level of punishment can be enhanced by the number of cigarettes as well as prior convictions.    Our lawyers have also handled numerous civil asset forfeiture hearings related to Cigarette Trafficking.

If you have been charged with Cigarette Trafficking in Virginia allow our experience to help you.  To contact us, please complete this form and we’ll respond as soon as we are able

 

 

§ 58.1-1017

Sale, purchase, possession, etc., of cigarettes for purpose of evading tax; penalties

A. Any person, except as otherwise provided by law, who sells, purchases, transports, receives, or possesses unstamped cigarettes shall be required to pay any tax owed pursuant to this chapter. In addition, such person shall be required to pay a civil penalty of (i) $ 2.50 per pack, up to $ 500, for the first violation by a legal entity within a 36-month period; (ii) $ 5 per pack, up to $ 1,000, for the second violation by the legal entity within a 36-month period; and (iii) $ 10 per pack, up to $ 50,000, for the third and any subsequent violation by the legal entity within a 36-month period, to be assessed and collected by the Department as other taxes are collected. In addition, where willful intent exists to defraud the Commonwealth of the tax levied under this chapter, such person shall be required to pay a civil penalty of $ 25 per pack, up to $ 250,000.
B. It shall be unlawful for any person, except as otherwise provided by law, to sell, purchase, transport, receive or possess less than 500 packages of cigarettes unless the same have been stamped in the manner required by law, for the purpose of evading the payment of the taxes on such products. Any person violating the provisions of this subsection is guilty of a Class 1 misdemeanor. Any person who is convicted of a second or subsequent violation of this subsection is guilty of a Class 6 felony, provided that the accused was at liberty as defined in § 53.1-151between each conviction and it is admitted, or found by the jury or judge before whom the person is tried, that the accused was previously convicted of a violation of this subsection. 

C. It shall be unlawful for any person, except as otherwise provided by law, to sell, purchase, transport, receive or possess 500 or more packages of cigarettes unless the same have been stamped in the manner required by law, for the purpose of evading the payment of the taxes on such products. Any person violating the provisions of this subsection shall be guilty of a Class 6 felony. Any person who is convicted of a second or subsequent violation of this subsection is guilty of a Class 5 felony, provided that the accused was at liberty as defined in § 53.1-151 between each conviction and it is admitted, or found by the jury or judge before whom the person is tried, that the accused was previously convicted of a violation of this subsection.
D. If a person who (i) has not been issued a permit to affix revenue stamps by the Department, as provided in § 58.1-1011, or (ii) is not a retail dealer who has lawfully purchased cigarettes from such permit holder has in his possession within the Commonwealth more than 30 packages of unstamped cigarettes, such possession shall be presumed to be for the purpose of evading the payment of the taxes due thereon. No civil penalty shall be imposed under this section for any unstamped cigarettes if a civil penalty under § 58.1-1013 has been paid for such unstamped cigarettes.


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