Washington Criminal Drug laws | Counterfeit Substances | Possession, Delivery or Sale | A Criminal Defense Attorney | Lawyer’s Perspective.
What is a counterfeit substance charge?
Under Washington law, it is illegal for a person to create, sell, deliver, or possess a counterfeit substance that poses as an illegal drug, narcotic or controlled substance. As criminal defense attorneys, we commonly see this charge in the prescription pill field, but we have also seen it used with cocaine, heroin, methamphetamine, marijuana (when it was illegal) and various psychedelics. The penalties associated with illegal drugs and prescription narcotics are serious as these charges are actually classified as felony charges, not gross misdemeanors. Getting the prosecuting attorney to lose interest in pushing these kinds of cases requires time, strong lawyering and effective presentation of the equitable arguments surrounding the cases.
What is the penalty for violating this statute?
The severity of the penalty imposed is directly related to the penalty associated with the actual illegal drug, narcotic, controlled, substance that was attempting to being sold.
Lower “Level” Schedule Drugs
As criminal defense attorneys we are always amazed that Washington law provides anyone convicted of involvement in distribution of a lower “level” (in general Schedule III drugs – see below) drug with respect to the delivery of a counterfeit controlled substances, can be found guilty of a class C felony.
Higher “Level” Schedule Drugs
Equally amazing is that on higher “level” counterfeit substances classified in Schedule I or II (See below) as a narcotic drug, or flunitrazepam, classified in Schedule IV, clients are facing a class B felony, one “level” below intentional murder. This is also true for an individual convicted of trying to sell a counterfeit substance which is being presented as methamphetamine. An individual convicted of a class B felony may be imprisoned for not more than ten years, fined not more than twenty-five thousand dollars, or both.
What are Schedule Drugs?
Under this statute, you can go to prison for selling “bunk” counterfeit drugs and your penalty is determined based on which schedule drug classification the counterfeit/bunk you are caught with falls under. This is a situation where what counterfeit schedule drug you are ultimately charged with can have a significant impact on the potential jail time you could be facing.
These kinds of cases are full of ethical and moral pitfalls that can be exploited and argued by Washington criminal defense attorneys who are vested in recognizing the inequities of these kinds of cases and are experienced in getting results. This charge and accompanying penalty scheme require a team who understand the intricacies of the criminal justice system, the charging process, search and seizure tactics, and how to negotiate in the criminal defense arena. We have that experience. Email or call us at 206-708-7852 to set an appointment.