Thursday, November 21, 2013

United States v. Baker case brief

United States v. Baker case brief summary
807 F.2d 427 (1986)


CASE SYNOPSIS
Defendant appealed his conviction from the United States District Court for the Southern District of Texas for trafficking in counterfeit goods, a violation of 18 U.S.C.S. § 2320.

CASE FACTS
Defendant was convicted for trafficking in counterfeit goods, a violation of 18 U.S.C.S. § 2320, due to his sale of counterfeit watches. Defendant appealed, alleging that the district court erred in denying his motion to dismiss and refusing to instruct the jury that defendant could not be convicted if he did not have the purpose to disobey or disregard the law.

DISCUSSION

  • On appeal, the court affirmed, holding that the statute itself clearly set forth the elements of the crime and the mental state required for each element, requiring that defendant intentionally deal in goods and knowingly use a counterfeit mark in connection with those goods. 
  • The court concluded that there was no ambiguity in the statutory language and that nothing in the statute suggested that any other mental state was required for conviction. 
  • Accordingly, ignorance of the law was not a valid defense.


CONCLUSION
The court affirmed the conviction, since the district court properly based the conviction on the elements of the crime and the required mental state for each element.


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