California Business and Professions Code Section 12024.2 penalizes California business for overcharging customers. In essence, the statute protects consumes from being charged prices that are greater than that advertised by the store.
The California Department of Agriculture aggressively investigates prosecutes these violations and levies large fines. In addition to court costs, a company can be required to pay hundreds if not thousands in investigative costs.
Pat Carey has represented several southern California businesses, large and small, with these violations. Many companies make the big mistake of sending a non-attorney to go to court and simple plead guilty, missing out on saving their business thousands in fines not to mention the public shame of a public notice that is required by law to be posted in the business after a conviction for this offense.
Call Pat Carey today so he can give you a detailed review of your case. There are several requirements for a provable violation of this law, and the District Attorney’s Office tends to over-charge these matters. Don’t be strong-armed by the government. Make sure your rights are protected.
The text of the actual statute is as follows:
California Business and Professions Code Section 12024.2.
(a) It is unlawful for any person, at the time of sale of a commodity, to do any of the following:
(1) Charge an amount greater than the price, or to compute an amount greater than a true extension of a price per unit, that is then advertised, posted, marked, displayed, or quoted for that commodity.
(2) Charge an amount greater than the lowest price posted on the commodity itself or on a shelf tag that corresponds to the commodity, notwithstanding any limitation of the time period for which the posted price is in effect.
(b) A violation of this section is a misdemeanor punishable by a fine of not less than twenty-five dollars ($25) nor more than one thousand dollars ($1,000), by imprisonment in the county jail for a period not exceeding one year, or by both, if the violation is willful or grossly negligent, or when the overcharge is more than one dollar ($1).
(c) A violation of this section is an infraction punishable by a fine of not more than one hundred dollars ($100) when the overcharge is one dollar ($1) or less.
(d) As used in subdivisions (b) and (c), “overcharge” means the amount by which the charge for a commodity exceeds a price that is advertised, posted, marked, displayed, or quoted to that consumer for that commodity at the time of sale.
(e) Except as provided in subdivision (f), for purposes of this section, when more than one price for the same commodity is advertised, posted, marked, displayed, or quoted, the person offering the commodity for sale shall charge the lowest of those prices.
(f) Pricing may be subject to a condition of sale, such as membership in a retailer-sponsored club, the purchase of a minimum quantity, or the purchase of multiples of the same item, provided that the condition is conspicuously posted in the same location as the price.