Laws, Regulations & Annotations


Business Taxes Law Guide – Revision 2019

Cigarette and Tobacco Products Tax Law


Section 30474

30474. Penalty for selling unstamped cigarettes. (a) Any person who knowingly possesses, or keeps, stores, or retains for the purpose of sale, or sells or offers to sell, any package of cigarettes to which there is not affixed the stamp or meter impression required to be affixed under this part, when those cigarettes have been obtained from any source whatever, is guilty of a misdemeanor and shall for each offense be fined an amount not to exceed twenty-five thousand dollars ($25,000) or be imprisoned for a period not to exceed one year in the county jail, or, at the discretion of the court, be subject to both fine and imprisonment in the county jail.

(b) In addition to the fine or sentence, or both, each person convicted under this section shall pay one hundred dollars ($100) for each carton of 200 cigarettes, or portion thereof, if that person knowingly possessed, or kept, stored, or retained for the purpose of sale, or sold or offered for sale in violation of this section, as determined by the court. The court shall direct that 50 percent of the penalty assessed be transmitted to the local prosecuting jurisdiction, to be allocated for costs of prosecution, and 50 percent of the penalty assessed be transmitted to the board. The board may collect the penalty due pursuant to this section in the manner prescribed in Section 30483.

(c) This section shall not apply to a licensed distributor that possesses, keeps, stores, or retains cigarettes before the necessary stamp or meter impression is affixed.

History.—Stats. 1968, p. 2250, in effect November 13, 1968, revised the first sentence and added the second sentence. Stats. 1983, Ch. 1092, in effect September 27, 1983, operative January 1, 1984, substituted "one thousand dollars ($1,000)" for "five hundred dollars ($500)" after "not more than" in the first sentence, and substituted "fifty dollars ($50)" for "twenty-five dollars ($25)" after "pay" in the second sentence. Stats. 1993, Ch. 1113, in effect January 1, 1993, added commas following "stores" in the first and second sentence; substituted "those" for "such" before "cigarettes have been" in the first sentence; substituted "one hundred dollars ($100)" for "fifty dollars ($50)" in the second sentence; and added the third sentence. Stats. 2003, Ch. 890 (AB 71), in effect January 1, 2004, established the former first sentence as subdivision (a), substituted "an amount not to exceed" for "not more than" after "offense be fined", deleted "," after "($1,000)", and substituted "a period not to exceed … imprisonment in the county jail" for "not exceeding one year in the county jail, or be subject to both fine and imprisonment, in the discretion of the court" in subdivision (a); established the remaining former paragraph as subdivision (b), and added "if that person" after "or portion thereof," in the first sentence of subdivision (b); and added subdivision (c). Stats. 2006, Ch. 501 (AB 1749), in effect January 1, 2007, substituted "twenty-five" for "one" after "not to exceed", substituted "($25,000)" for "($1,000)" after "thousand dollars", and deleted "the" after "subject to both" in subdivision (a). Stats. 2011, Ch. 727 (AB 242), in effect January 1, 2012, substituted "board" for "State Board of Equalization" after "penalty assessed be transmitted to the" in the second sentence of, and added the last sentence to, subdivision (b); substituted "shall" for "does" after "This section" in subdivision (c).