DuPage County County Synthetic Cannabis Lawyers
Experienced Attorneys Defending Against Synthetic Marijuana Charges
The police in Illinois arrest many people on drug-related charges each year. The Illinois States Police reported the following for DuPage County alone:
- 6,060 drug-related arrests in one year
- 3,172 cannabis-related arrests
- 649 arrests for other controlled substances
- 2,198 arrests for drug paraphernalia
- 37 arrests for hypodermic needles
Synthetic marijuana and other synthetic drugs seemed to arrive out of nowhere a few years ago. Because of their sudden appearance, law enforcement and the government did not know how to react, and the sale and use of synthetic drugs were legal for a time. However, the government acted quickly, and it is now illegal in Illinois to sell or possess any item containing a controlled substance that is not regulated by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). This includes synthetic marijuana, which stores and individuals sell under the names “Spice” or “K2.”
If the state of Illinois charged you with the sale or possession of synthetic cannabis or another type of illegal drug, it is important to protect your rights with the help of a strong criminal defense. At the law firm of Martin & Kent, L.L.C., our attorneys understand what it takes to help you avoid the harsh consequences of a drug conviction. Contact us today to schedule an appointment to discuss your case.
What Are Synthetic Drugs?
Synthetic drugs are sometimes known as designer drugs, and these products contain controlled substances that the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) does not regulate. Synthetic drugs are becoming more and more prevalent not just in the United States but around the world.
Synthetic drugs provide users with a high, similar to what they would experience if they used the real thing. These drugs can also be very dangerous, and the side effects associated with them are extremely unpredictable. Symptoms of synthetic drug use can include vomiting, drowsiness, rapid heartbeat, and agitation. Serious side effects most commonly associated with synthetic drug use include hallucinations, paranoia, anxiety, aggression, seizures, chest pain, heart attack, homicidal behavior, and suicidal thoughts. Less-common side effects associated with synthetic drug use include restlessness, feelings of euphoria, and sweating.
Due to the increased problems associated with synthetic drug use, the State of Illinois treats synthetic drug crimes exceptionally harshly. Synthetic drugs are now considered Schedule I controlled substances. A Schedule 1 controlled substance does not have any legally recognized medical use, whatsoever. These substances are also commonly addictive.
Types of Synthetic Drugs
Synthetic drugs in Illinois can take a variety of forms. Some of the different types of synthetic drugs available on the market today include the following:
- K2 and spice, which are sometimes also known as synthetic marijuana – These drugs are sold in small plastic bags and have the appearance of dried leaves. It is sometimes also sold in a liquid form. Although advertisements sometimes state that synthetic marijuana is a safe and legal drug, it is highly addictive and can result in serious side effects and harms for users.
- Ecstasy or molly – Molly is the synthetic version of ecstasy and typically comes in the form of a colored pill.
- Krokodil – Krokodil, which is also known as desomorphine, is similar to heroin in terms of side effects and the way in which people use it. The drug is extremely addictive, and users can make it at home using a combination of codeine, gasoline, iodine, paint thinner, and hydrochloric acid.
- Bath salts – Bath salts have an effect similar to LSD and are synthetic stimulants. Users of this synthetic drug may experience hallucinations. The drug is typically sold in capsule form or in foil or plastic packages.
- Synthetic cocaine – Synthetic cocaine is readily available to users and is even available online. Retailers sometimes label it as plant food or research chemicals refer to is different street names, such as Mind Melt.
- Synthetic opioids – The synthetic versions of ketamine and fentanyl are also readily available for users. These synthetic opioids may either be sniffed or smoked.
Potential Penalties For Synthetic Drug Crimes
Synthetic drug crimes can involve simple possession of the drug or selling or distributing the drug to other individuals. Given the serious nature of synthetic drugs, even possessing a small amount of one of these drugs can result in very harsh legal penalties. If you are found guilty or convicted of possessing even a small amount of a synthetic drug, you can receive up to $100,000 in fines, along with a maximum seven years of incarceration.
In addition to these potential legal penalties, there can also be serious impacts on your personal life. First of all, you will have a criminal conviction on your record that is available for viewing online by the public. A criminal record can make it difficult for you to find employment or attend school at an educational institution. This is especially true since criminal background checks are more prevalent now than ever. Employers are much less likely to hire someone with a criminal conviction record. The same is true for landlords who are reviewing applications from prospective tenants.
A criminal record can also cause serious damage to your reputation in the community. Members of their community, including professional colleagues, family members, and friends often ostracize and shun Individuals who sustain criminal convictions.
“But I Didn’t Know It Was Illegal!”
Because synthetic drugs were legal for a time and because it took some time for the government to outlaw them, many people are still under the impression that synthetic drugs are perfectly legal. In fact, you can still likely find them readily available at convenience stores and other shops, and retailers frequently advertise synthetic drugs under various misleading names. However, the common saying that “ignorance of the law is no excuse” definitely applies here. In other words, just because you are unaware of a particular law or do not understand the law does not mean that the law will not apply to you in your criminal case.
If you bought synthetic marijuana at a store, presuming no business would possibly sell you something that is illegal, the police can still charge you with a drug crime. If you work for or operate a business that sells synthetic drugs under the assumption that they are still legal, you can still face serious felony charges. That is why it is so important to get help from a lawyer who has extensive experience handling drug charges and who understands how to build a strong criminal defense.
Attacking The Prosecution’s Case
We approach synthetic drug cases the same as we do any drug case. We will thoroughly review the circumstances leading up to your arrest. We will determine whether the police violated your constitutional rights, including whether the police had probable cause to stop or search you and whether a search warrant was required.
Under the Fourth Amendment to the United States Constitution, law enforcement cannot conduct unlawful and unnecessary searches and seizures. In order for a police officer to arrest you for a drug crime, the officer must typically have probable cause, along with a warrant. Alternatively, the officer must have probable cause and there must be some exception to the warrant requirement. Probable cause means that the officer has more than a suspicion that criminal activity took place—and that you were the one who committed the crime. If the arresting officer does not have the necessary probable cause, warrant, or warrant exception, it’s likely that he or she violated your constitutional rights and that any evidence that the police gathered is inadmissible.
In addition to a Fourth Amendment violation, you may also assert a variety of other legal defenses to a synthetic drug charge. For example, if you were a passenger in someone else’s car, the drugs were found in the car, and the police arrested you for drug possession, you may be able to claim that the car belonged to another person and that you did not have any knowledge of the drugs recovered therein. This is an especially good defense if the recovered drugs were hidden from view in a glove compartment, under one of the car seats, or elsewhere in the vehicle.
If Illinois has charged you with a synthetic drug crime that involves unlawful possession or distribution, you need an experienced criminal defense lawyer representing you in your case. You can rely on us to attack the prosecution’s evidence every step of the way to help you get the best possible outcome.
Contact Our DuPage, Kane, and Cook County Criminal Defense Lawyers if You Are Accused of a Drug Crime
Even though synthetic drugs are not actually “real” drugs, the law treats them as if they are. If you are accused of unlawfully possessing or selling synthetic drugs, you need a criminal defense lawyer on your side who knows how to effectively defend your case in court.
At Martin & Kent, L.L.C., we provide knowledgeable counsel and an aggressive defense against all drug charges. Do not gamble when your future and your freedom are on the line. Call us today for a free initial consultation to discuss the charges against you. With offices in Wheaton in DuPage County, we provide criminal defense services to individuals throughout DuPage County, Kane County, and Cook County.
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