Untaxed Cigarettes Charges
Were you or a loved one charged with selling untaxed cigarettes? This is a serious charge. Watch this video by our experienced Buffalo criminal lawyer.
Charges for possession of untaxed cigarettes are frequent in the Buffalo-Niagara area because of the presence of several Native American reservations and sovereign territories. A consequence of this is that some police officers stake out these areas, and they are able to determine through observation or contact with informants when people are buying more than is generally permitted. When that happens, the officers will pull over drivers and usually issue them misdemeanor tickets, which summons them to court for this untaxed cigarette charge.
We recently had a case where we tried a new approach, and this is the approach we have adopted for all our recent cases. Untaxed cigarettes involve a criminal penalty and an excise tax penalty; the criminal penalty is owed through the court, while the excise tax penalty is owed to New York State. When New York State imposes fines for untaxed cigarettes, people can face tens of thousands of dollars in excise tax penalties even after they resolve their criminal cigarette tax penalty in court. We do not want our clients to face such a repercussion. In a recent case, we made a call to a fellow at New York State, and we worked out an excise tax penalty, which we rolled into the criminal penalty. When we were in court resolving the case, we put on the record and we had proof from New York State that the total amount the client owed in court that day represented the entire charge.
If charged with a cigarette tax code violation, it is crucial to hire an attorney with experience fighting these charges. No one should face an unforeseen $30,000 charge from New York State for a crime that appeared to have been settled and its fine paid.