Imitation Drug Offenses

Phoenix Imitation Drug Crime Attorney

Were You Arrested for a Synthetic Drug Crime?

Recently, President Obama signed into law a synthetic drug act that would ban all imitation narcotics, placing them on the same playing field as their organic counterparts such as marijuana and LSD. Synthetic drugs are now included in state and federal controlled substances acts. In Arizona, synthetic drug crimes are included in Chapter 34.1 of the penal code. If you have been arrested, get in touch with a Phoenix criminal defense lawyer at Knowles Law Firm, PLC as soon as possible.

What Exactly is a "Counterfeit Drug?"

According to the statutes, "counterfeit preparation" is preparation that has an appearance which imitates another preparation but that, in fact, is a different preparation.

There are three general categories of imitation drugs:

  • Imitation Controlled Substances
  • Imitation Over-the-Counter Drugs
  • Imitation Prescription-Only Drugs

There are different penalties for crimes involving these three categories of synthetic drugs. Imitation controlled substances are illegal per § 13-3453 of the codes. Manufacturing, distributing or possessing with intent to distribute this type of substance is a class 6 felony. Selling to or administering this type of drug to a minor is a class 5 felony. The same crime involving prescription-only drugs is detailed in § 13-3454 and over-the-counter drug crimes of this nature are detailed in § 13-3455 of the codes. These are both class 6 felonies, and class 5 felonies for crimes involving selling or administering to minors.

Examples of Imitation Drugs

Just about any prescription drug, dangerous drug or narcotic substance can be imitated and used, sold, trafficked, etc. There are some imitation brands that are more popular than others.

Examples of popular imitation drugs include:

  • K2. K2 is an imitation form of cannabis (marijuana). This "designer drug" is made from synthetic chemicals that, when used, give off similar side effects as marijuana.
  • Spice. Spice is also a type of synthetic cannabis that is made from chemical-coated herbs.
  • Bath salts. These drugs are manufactured to give off the same side effects as meth and cocaine because they are made with substitute cathinones.

Although some of these designer drugs technically used to be legal, federal regulations and Arizona authorities are cracking down on these crimes and even specifically targeting them.

Simple Possession of Synthetic Drugs

§ 13-3456-3458 detail the crime of simple possession of a synthetic/imitation substance. You can be charged with possession or possession with intent to use an imitation controlled substance, imitation over-the-counter drug or imitation prescription-only drug. Violation of this statute is a class 2 misdemeanor. While this is the least severe type of synthetic drug crime, it is still serious. A conviction can increase your chances of being charged with an aggravated drug crime offense upon second or subsequent conviction. Any mark on your criminal record can also seriously impede your future opportunities for employment and may even have an effect on your auto insurance rates.

Request a Free Consultation Today

Have you been arrested for possession, trafficking, sale or manufacturing of a synthetic drug? Get strong legal defense on your side. The penalties for synthetic drug crimes are just as severe as crimes involving regular drugs, so don’t entrust your case to just any lawyer – call on a proven advocate with extensive experience.


You are innocent until proven guilty. To learn more about how a Phoenix criminal defense attorney can help you, please contact us to request a free and confidential case evaluation.

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