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Synthetic drugs may or may not be illegal

Texas residents may have heard about synthetic drugs like spice and bath salts. Unlike natural drugs or derivatives of natural drugs, these are made entirely of synthetic chemical compounds. For a long time, chemists have been creating synthetic drugs that mimic the effects of natural drugs in order to avoid criminal prosecution.

Lawmakers cannot outlaw every chemical compound as soon as it is invented, so a lot of synthetic drugs are technically legal. Though a particular compound may only remain legal for a short period of time, synthetic drug makers can sell the substance and then tweak the formula once the original compound is outlawed. Many synthetic drugs have harmful effects for users, and information on the packaging of synthetic drugs will often tell consumers that the drugs are not for human consumption.

People who have been found to be in possession of synthetic drugs may not be charged with a crime if the drugs were not illegal. However, a person who is suspected of selling substances that are intended to mimic the effects of controlled substances can be charged. Public intoxication can also lead to criminal charges regardless of what type of substance a person became impaired from.

In some cases, a person will be charged with drug offenses while the prosecution waits for evidence to come back from a drug testing lab. If the substance in question has not been outlawed, a criminal defense attorney who has experience with these types of cases might argue that the defendant's charges should be dropped.

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