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Synthetic drugs carry serious criminal penalties in Texas

Many young people purchase synthetic drugs because they believe that these substances, often sold in stores and online, are safer than traditional street drugs. Many people also mistakenly believe that these drugs are legal, when, in fact, they are not.

Texas lawmakers have added new compounds to state laws on controlled substances in recent years. Some of these compounds are meth-like, commonly referred to as Flakka or bath salts. Other compounds are meant to mimic substances like marijuana or Ecstasty. These drugs, often called herbal incense, K2, Molly or even plant feeders, are illegal federally and in Texas.

If you or your child is facing a criminal charge related to the possession or use of a synthetic drug, you need to explore options for limiting the legal fallout caused by synthetic drugs. These could include requesting that charges be dropped, having the charges changed to a non-drug offense or requesting diversion to substance abuse treatment programs in lieu of criminal proceedings.

Synthetic drugs are definitely illegal and incredibly dangerous

Common street drugs, like marijuana and heroin, are easy to identify in drug tests. It's also common knowledge that these substances are not legal for use or possession. While the law is clear about most synthetic drugs, many people, particularly teens and college students, may not understand that synthetics are as illegal as the street drugs they mimic.

While some synthetic drugs do not show up on common drug tests, more complex and in-depth drug testing is now available. It is easier than ever for employers and law enforcement to determine what synthetic drug was being used.

All states, including Texas, have their own controlled substances act in addition to the federal laws on the topic. Federal law makes it clear that any new drug or compound designed to mimic the effects of a known illegal substance is also illegal. This is called the Federal Analog Act.

Because there are numerous ways to tweak or change a compound to avoid literal illegality, it makes sense that the focus is on the desired effect and not necessarily the chemical composition of the drug in question. Criminal charges related to synthetic drugs are serious. Penalties could include jail or loss of federal student aid.

Fight synthetic drug charges

If you or someone you love is facing criminal charges related to synthetic drugs of any variety, an experienced Texas criminal defense attorney can help in a variety of ways, from creating a defense to requesting outside testing of the allegedly illegal substance. Don't try to face these potentially life-altering charged without adequate legal representation.

Source: Nov. 30, -0001

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