Imitation Marijuana Crimes

Phoenix Lawyer Helping Defendants Fight Drug Charges

Many people assume that if they do not possess or sell actual marijuana, they will avoid running afoul of the law. However, imitation or synthetic marijuana is also prohibited in Arizona. If you have been arrested for possessing, selling or intending to sell, manufacturing, or distributing imitation marijuana, you should be aware that there may be serious penalties for a conviction. A strong defense by a drug crime lawyer may make a difference in your case. Phoenix imitation marijuana attorney James Novak can provide a knowledgeable defense to these charges.

Imitation Marijuana Crimes

Federal law has a ban on synthetic marijuana, which has been put on the federal list of Schedule 1 controlled dangerous substances. In Arizona, imitation or synthetic marijuana has also been banned. One example is K2, which is a designer drug that may provide similar side effects to marijuana use. Another example is spice, which is made from chemically coated herbs.

Initially, drug manufacturers would simply alter the composition of their products to avoid breaking the law. However, federal and Arizona laws now target people who use, produce, and sell these fake drugs. The most recent Arizona law has expanded the definition of dangerous drugs to include a ban on any material that contains any quantity of "cannabimimetic substances," as well as their salts, isomers, and salts of isomers. Other chemical configurations of other synthetic drugs are also banned.

There are various penalties for crimes involving these three categories of synthetic drugs. If you are caught possessing with intent to distribute, distributing, or manufacturing imitation marijuana, it is a class 6 felony. The presumptive term when you are convicted of a class 6 felony is one year of imprisonment. An aggravated term is two years of imprisonment. If you actually sell or administer imitation marijuana to a minor, it is a class 5 felony. The presumptive term for a class 5 felony in Arizona is two years, while an aggravated term is two and a half years of imprisonment. You should consult an imitation marijuana lawyer in the Phoenix area to fight these charges.

Simple possession of an imitation substance or possession with intent to use an imitation substance is a class 2 misdemeanor. Although these charges are less severe, getting a misdemeanor conviction may increase the likelihood that you will be charged with an aggravated drug crime offense if you are convicted again in the future. You may face a harsher sentence if there is a next time, as well as limited employment and increased automobile insurance rates, so it makes sense to fight misdemeanor charges as well.

You should not assume that you will be convicted because you are charged. There may be ways to fight an imitation marijuana charge. Often, it is possible to mount a defense in a drug crime case based on constitutional or other procedural violations. For example, if police did not follow the rules for Fourth Amendment searches and seizures, it may be possible to suppress the evidence that you possessed imitation marijuana. Similarly, if the lab did not properly handle and test the imitation marijuana, it may be possible to suppress the lab results. All of the elements of an imitation marijuana crime must be established beyond a reasonable doubt, which is a significant burden of proof. When evidence of the substance itself is suppressed, it may be possible to get the charges thrown out.

Even if the charges are not thrown out, if the evidence is weak, it may be appropriate to negotiate for different charges or take the case to trial. Sometimes, a judge has the power to designate a class 6 felony, such as possessing imitation marijuana with intent to sell, as a class 1 misdemeanor and sentence accordingly.

Consult an Imitation Marijuana Attorney in Phoenix or Beyond

Imitation marijuana crimes may not seem like a big deal, but they are taken seriously by prosecutors in Arizona. Our principal is a former prosecutor who can provide aggressive, strategic representation in the area of drug crimes. Contact Phoenix imitation marijuana lawyer James Novak at (480) 413-1499 or via our online form for a free appointment. He also represents people who need a marijuana lawyer in Tempe, Mesa, Chandler, Gilbert, Scottsdale, and other cities in Maricopa County.

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