The term “designer drug” might sound fancy, but ultimately it is defined as any chemical substance designed to mimic or analog the effects of an illegal drug. That’s why these are also called synthetic drugs, the most famous of which is bath salts, which is essentially a synthetic copy of methamphetamine. In California, these synthetic drugs are illegal to sell, but sometimes determining illegality of a substance can be difficult. If you have been accused of selling some kind of designer drug, do not speak to the police before talking to a drug defense lawyer first.
While some places have been known to sell drugs labeled as either synthetic cannabis or bath salts, many people charged with selling these drugs are selling a new substance that may not be intended to replicate the effects of another drug. After all, just because something gives someone more energy doesn’t mean it’s like cocaine or methamphetamine. Unfortunately, if you end up telling the police that the drug is “just like pot” or “kind of like coke, but better,” these statements could be used against you later to prove that you knew the drug was a synthetic replica of an existing illegal substance. That is why you should always plead the Fifth Amendment and insist on speaking with your attorney if you are arrested for a drug crime.
In most cases, the penalty for selling a synthetic, designer drug will be the same as it would be if you were selling the actual drug it is analogous to. There are many defenses to these crimes, aside from claiming that the drugs do not fall under the list of illegal synthetic substances. In some cases, the best course is to fight against illegal police searches while in other cases it may be to argue that the substance was for personal use and not for sale. It is always best to ask your attorney what he or she thinks is the right strategy for your situation.
Each person’s case requires a different defense strategy, so if you have been charged with selling a synthetic drug, please call (760) 643-4050 or (858) 486-3024 to schedule a free initial consultation with attorney Peter M. Liss.
Creative Commons Image by Dennis Yang