A recent Houston case resulted in a $9.2 million forfeiture and prison for seven due to the sale of synthetic drugs. While synthetic drugs are often portrayed as legal in popular media, they can get you into a lot of trouble.
For example, here in Texas the sale of synthetic marijuana has been explicitly banned since 2011.
What are synthetic drugs?
A synthetic drug is a drug that’s created with man-made chemicals rather than natural ingredients. Many of the drugs that are already on illegal drug schedules have always been synthetic, such as Ecstasy, LSD, and meth. They are also known as designer drugs.
Originally, many designer drugs were manufactured to deliver the same results as the original drug, but to get around laws classifying those drugs as illegal. Lawmakers often chase behind these drugs, trying to close loopholes.
In the case of marijuana, synthetics are either sprayed on dried, shredded plant material or are sold as liquids meant to be vaporized. Many synthetics alter the brain far more powerfully than the original drug did. They can cause overdoses just like a natural drug can.
In addition, there is no standardized procedure for the creation of synthetic drugs, which means users have no way of knowing what substances they are actually placing inside of their bodies.
Penalties for Synthetic Drugs
The penalties depend on the amount possessed and the alleged reason for possessing them. Even possessing two ounces or less constitutes a Class B Misdemeanor which means 180 days in jail and a fine of $2000.
Possess more than 2,000 pounds, and you’re facing life imprisonment with a 5-year mandatory minimum sentence, as well as a $50,000 fine.
If it is believed that you were delivering or manufacturing synthetic drugs you face a minimum of two years in jail and fines of $10,000. You face a maximum of life in prison for 400 grams or more, with a mandatory minimum of 10 years and a $100,000 fine.
Charges can be enhanced if you were caught with these substances in any Texas “Drug Free” zone.
Take Synthetic Drug Charges Seriously
These charges could ruin your life. You will need an experienced Texas criminal defense lawyer to help you navigate these charges and minimize their impact.
If you’ve been accused of handling or having synthetic drugs of any kind, it’s time to reach out to our office to schedule a case review today.
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