Counterfeit substances are anything designed to look like a controlled drug, prescription drug or narcotic. Many people do not realize it is a crime to create, sell, distribute or possess these substances even as a joke. If you have been charged with one of these offenses, then you need legal representation from the Spodek Law Group. An attorney can do several things for you when dealing with counterfeit substances charges.
Ensure Police Followed the Correct Procedures
Determining that someone is potentially holding or distributing counterfeit substances can be very complex from a legal perspective. A lawyer will help you by ensuring that the police followed all correct procedures in order to arrive at the charge. This means questioning whether there was probable cause to even look for or test the substance in question. It also involves checking that any warrants were followed correctly. If the right procedures were not followed, then an attorney could have the evidence suppressed.
Explore Valid Defenses against the Charges
The complexities of a counterfeit substances case mean that you have a good chance of mounting an effective defense if you have the help of an attorney from the Spodek Law Group. A lawyer will listen to your story and then see how it fits within the framework of a legal defense. You might not have realized the substance was counterfeit or might have been fooled by someone else. You might never have intended to pass off the substance as something legitimate. Your attorney will work with you to explore and develop a defense against the charges.
Avoid Escalating or Additional Charges
The possession, production or distribution of counterfeit substances is closely related to other drug offenses in New York City. This means that prosecutors or police might attempt to attach larger or additional charges to your case. These can include charges for conspiracy, possession of an illegal substance and other drug offenses even if the substance is a harmless household product. A lawyer will do everything possible to protect you against these additional or escalated charges.
Aggressively Question Witnesses
Certain types of counterfeit substances cases will rely heavily on what witnesses say in order to prove your motivations or actions. Those witnesses can be harmful to your case if not questioned in the right way. An attorney from the Spodek Law Group, will aggressively question any relevant witnesses in an attempt to poke holes in the timeline or disprove what the person believes was happening. This can potentially sway the judge or jury to your side since it will look like the witness was mistaken. A lawyer has the skill and experience to handle witnesses.
Gather Relevant Evidence for Your Defense
An attorney understands the law and the rules regarding evidence. A lawyer will know what evidence could help your defense. Lawyers will work hard to gather any relevant evidence that will potentially prove your innocence. This could mean videos of you, statements from people who dispute what happened or physical evidence from your home or workplace. Having an attorney on your side who will actively seek out the evidence you need can be invaluable when facing counterfeit substances charges in New York.
Negotiate With the Prosecutor
The difficulty of prosecuting a counterfeit substances case is that it largely has to do with intangible things like what you knew and what your intentions were. Prosecutors would rather avoid going to trial. An attorney will attempt to negotiate with the prosecutor almost from the start. It is possible that the charges could be greatly reduced to an unclassified misdemeanor or dropped altogether. Lawyers are skilled negotiators who can make a solid case as to why pursuing maximum charges with jail time is not really worth the effort for prosecutors.
Present Mitigating Circumstances If Necessary
If you have been convicted and are moving onto sentencing, then a lawyer from Spodek Law Group, PC will attempt to present mitigating circumstances to the judge. Mitigating circumstances are factors that clearly show you are not deserving of severe punishment. This is important because appealing to the judge by showing you did not understand NYC law or did this only once in your life could make the difference between whether you go to jail or just have to pay a fine.
Opportunities to deal counterfeit prescription drugs have increased considerably over the last few decades largely due to internet use. Prescription medication is readily available online, which makes it convenient for a lot of people. Online drugs are sometimes cheaper than those from pharmacies, which is another reason most people turn to them. However, online sales have increased prescription drug sales prosecutions. Manufacturing, distributing, marketing, selling, and transporting fake prescription medication is a crime punishable by state and federal law.
Cases related to dealing in counterfeit prescription drugs can bring serious charges and penalties. Depending on the circumstances, you may face a long prison sentence and/or hefty fines. A lawyer who specializes in counterfeit prescription medication cases understands the complexities that arise in such instances. Learning about the elements that make up counterfeit prescription drug charges can help you grasp your case better.
Producing, marketing, and selling fake prescription medications involve fraud. When an individual promises to deliver a product or service under false pretenses in exchange for money, then that constitutes fraud. If you tell an online buyer that you will send them Oxycontin but then sent aspirin instead, that is fraud because the statement you made was untrue. Fraud is a federal crime that carries a harsh punishment.
Under the law, a statement must be intentionally and materially false for actions to amount to fraud. Intentional means giving a statement when you know it to be false. You are positive that the drugs on sale are not Oxycontin but still tell the buyer that they are. Materially refers to facts that play a significant role in the case. It means that the false statement given is what facilitated the transaction, so it is material.
Counterfeit Prescription Drug Charges
The federal government regulates all prescription drugs and one of that if the prohibition of counterfeit drug sales. However, for you to be charged with a federal crime, the sale must have occurred interstate. If the purchase, marketing, and selling all occur in one area, then the federal regulations don’t apply. Nonetheless, you will have to answer to the state laws. Sale of fake prescription drugs becomes a federal crime when an individual crosses state lines to conduct the transactions. By default, online sales involve interstate commerce; and therefore, are regulated by federal law.
Note that an individual sale is regarded as a separate violation, meaning you could be in a world of trouble depending on the number of transactions. A case of counterfeit prescription drug sale can get very complicated if the buyer suffers physical damages. For example, if a manufacturer offers fake migraine medication passing it off as the real thing and users end up with physical side effects such as poor vision, then such a case takes a very bad turn. If there is proof that a buyer’s health issues resulted from the use of the fake drugs you supplied, then that could mean a very long incarceration.
The degree of punishment varies with the circumstances of the case. If the charge is for fraud, then you may get a 5-year maximum prison sentence. If you were caught selling counterfeit prescription medication but it’s proven that there was no intent to defraud, then the sentence may be a maximum of one year and a $1,000 fine. If proven that there was intent to defraud, then the maximum sentence should not exceed three years, and the fine is $10,000 maximum. A judge can decide on a sentence, fine or both. Remember that each transaction is an individual crime, so the more they are, the higher the sentence.
An experienced lawyer can approach a counterfeit prescription drug case in different ways. One defense that a lawyer can use is the lack of knowledge. You may not have had a clue as to the quality of the drugs you were selling. In such an instance, a fraud charge would be easy to fight because there was no intent to mislead. Lack of intent will not get rid of the fake medication sale accusation but can lessen it. Fraud charges resulting from the sale of counterfeit prescription drugs can take different forms. For instance, it will depend on the method used to conduct the transaction. If there was phone contact, then that may lead to a wire fraud charge.
Getting convicted of multiple crimes relating to fake prescription medication can devastate your life. If it’s a company caught manufacturing fake drugs, then the fines could be monumental. The type of drug may also influence the severity of the charges. Prescription medications are classified in schedules, and that is used to measure the degree of the offense. Drug-related crimes have ethical and moral aspects to consider, which can swing the judgment either way. An attorney can provide a critical analysis of your case and work on achieving the best possible results for you.
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