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California Deceptive Trade Practices Laws

Deceptive trade practices are characterized by disinformation, false claims, and other tactics to lure the public into buying a product or service. One example is a used car dealer tampering with the odometer in order to falsely claim lower mileage. California has not adopted the Uniform Deceptive Trade Practices Act, but has laws specifically prohibiting false advertising and odometer tampering.

Below are the basics of California deceptive trade practices law. See Details on State Deceptive Trade Practices and Fair Advertising FAQ: A Guide for Small Business to learn more.

Uniform Deceptive Trade Practices Act Adopted No
False Advertising Forbidden Yes (Bus. & Prof. §17500 et seq.)
Who May Bring Suit Attorney general; district attorney or other prosecuting attorney may bring suit for injunctive and civil penalties (Bus & Prof. §17535); any individual may bring suit for injunction or restitution (Bus. & Prof. §17203)
Remedies Available Violation of provision misdemeanor punishable by imprisonment in county jail not exceeding 6 months or a fine not exceeding $2500/both. (Bus. & Prof. §17500) May be both imprisoned and fined.
Auto Odometer Tampering Forbidden Yes (Veh. C. §28050, et seq.); misdemeanor (Veh. §40000.15)

Note: State laws are constantly changing -- contact a California consumer protection attorney or conduct your own legal research to verify the state law(s) you are researching.

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