In recent years, an increasing number of synthetic drugs have found their way onto the marketplace. And while many were widely available online and even in local shops for a period of time, legislators have cracked down on these substances, making it a crime to possess or sell these synthetic drugs. In short, synthetic marijuana possession could lead to the same types of consequences that you might face if found in possession of actual marijuana or another controlled substance.
Lawmakers in the State of Texas outlawed the manufacture, sale or possession of synthetic cannabinoids in 2011. An arrest for synthetic marijuana possession could result in misdemeanor or felony drug charges, so it’s important that you seek help from an experienced Dallas synthetic drugs defense lawyer; someone who knows how to defend you from these serious criminal charges.
In recent years, the team here at the Dallas Law Offices of Jeffrey C. Grass has seen a significant increase in the number of clients who have been arrested for a synthetic marijuana product like salvia or K2. These synthetic drugs, also known as “designer drugs,” are usually a combination of a natural plant-based substance that’s blended with chemicals to create a marijuana-like high. Other names include “genie,” ‘spice,” and “fire and ice.”
These products are often packaged and sold as incense or potpourri, contained in packaging that gives the drug the appearance of a legitimate product – something that has led to quite a bit of confusion amongst the public. There are also a number of synthetic drug products that are said to be similar to ecstasy and LSD (acid), so the market isn’t just limited to synthetic marijuana. Lawmakers and the FDA are consistently tackling new products on the synthetic drug marketplace. But as a result, many of our clients didn’t even realize they were in possession of an illegal substance!
At the Law Offices of Jeffrey C. Grass, our experienced drug crimes defense team knows what it takes to mount an aggressive and strategic defense on behalf of our clients. We work to protect your freedom and your future as our drug defense lawyers work hard to bring about a positive case resolution.
If you or a loved one have been arrested for possession of synthetic marijuana in Dallas County, contact The Law Offices of Jeffrey C. Grass to discuss your case in a free case evaluation. Call (214) 431-3897.
Common Questions on Synthetic Marijuana Arrests in Dallas County
The synthetic drug defense lawyers at the Law Offices of Jeffrey C. Grass routinely receive questions concerning the legality of synthetic drugs and the possible consequences of conviction for drug possession or sale.
Here is a look at some of the most common questions we encounter and address with our clients.
Why is Synthetic Marijuana Illegal in Dallas County and the state of Texas?
Lawmakers decided to ban the possession, sale, and manufacture of synthetic marijuana in 2011, as a result of health concerns that arose after multiple cases of overdose and illness were reported. Additional legislation was passed in 2013 to close a few legal loopholes that synthetic drug makers exploited by altering their formulas in an apparent effort to circumvent the ban.
The definition of synthetic cannabis is rather broad. It includes any substance that includes a cannabinoid receptor agonist, thereby mimicking the effects of the cannabinoids that are the “active ingredient” in marijuana.
Synthetic marijuana isn’t the only so-called designer drug that’s illegal in Texas. Texas law also makes it illegal to possess, sell or make synthetic drugs like “bath salts” and “251.”
Unfortunately, many of these designer drugs can be bought online, and there are still some products available on the open market — many of them “leftovers” from when these substances were legal. So many individuals who are arrested for possession of synthetic drugs didn’t even realize that they were in possession of an illegal substance.
What is the Penalty for Synthetic Marijuana Possession in Texas?
The penalties for synthetic marijuana possession in Texas are fairly similar to the penalties that are imposed for marijuana possession.
The severity of the charge will vary according to the amount involved in your case, ranging from a Class B misdemeanor for under 2 ounces to a first-degree felony for the possession of 2,000 pounds or more.
Here is a look at the potential penalties for synthetic marijuana possession in Texas:
Possession of 2 oz. or less is considered a class B misdemeanor with a maximum penalty of 6 months in jail and a $2,000 fine.
Possession of 2 oz. to 4 oz. is considered a class A misdemeanor with a maximum penalty of 1 year in jail and a $4,000 fine.
Possession of 4 oz. to 5 lbs. – is considered a state jail felony with a maximum penalty of 2 years in jail and $10,000 fine.
Possession of 5 lbs. to 50 lbs. is considered a third-degree felony with a maximum penalty of 10 years in jail and a $10,000 fine.
Possession of 50 lbs. to 2,000 lbs. is considered a second-degree felony with a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison and a $10,000 fine.
Possession of 2000 lbs. or more is considered a first-degree felony with a maximum penalty of 99 years in prison and a $50,000 fine.
How Will My Attorney Defend My Synthetic Drug Possession Case?
Each case is unique, so your defense strategy will be devised based upon the unique circumstances surrounding your case and the precise formulation of the substance, amongst other factors.
That said, synthetic drug possession cases can sometimes be defended using strategies that are not viable for most other drug cases. For example, your attorney may be successful in arguing that the synthetic drugs were not intended for human consumption – an argument that can be compelling if there were no rolling papers, pipes or other paraphernalia present.
It may also be worthwhile to perform a detailed laboratory analysis of the synthetic drug. In some cases, this may result in evidence that places the substance outside the umbrella of illegal drugs. For instance, in the case of some forms of synthetic marijuana, it may be argued that it was not “substantially similar” to THC.
Every case is different, so your Dallas drug defense lawyer will develop a defense strategy that will maximize your chances of seeing a favorable case resolution.
Will I Lose My Driver’s License if I’m Convicted of Possession of Synthetic Drugs?
Unfortunately, Texas law does allow for a 180-day license suspension in cases where an individual is convicted of or pleads “guilty” to a drug charge. Notably, this it not only for DUI cases; it covers all drug convictions.
Additionally, drivers must attend a 15-hour Drug Education Program prior to getting their license restored. For those who are not yet licensed, there will be a 180-day delay once you complete a particular form with the Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS). Therefore, if you’re not currently licensed, but plan to get a license in the future, you may wish to address this matter immediately if you plead guilty or are found guilty.
Your Dallas drug crimes defense lawyer can offer guidance in this area.
Trust to Our Texas Criminal Defense Lawyers to Defend Your Synthetic Drug Case
Synthetic drug laws evolve and change on a fairly regular basis, so you need a Dallas defense attorney who has the knowledge and experience required to maximize your chances of seeing a positive resolution to your legal troubles.
At the Law Offices of Jeffrey C. Grass, our legal team is very familiar with drug crimes involving synthetic marijuana products, including K2 and “spice,” along with other synthetic drugs such as bath salts and 251. We also understand how profoundly a drug conviction can impact your life. From posing challenges when you try to get a job or rent a home, to making it difficult or impossible to attend university, we know how devastating a drug conviction can be.
Trust your case to a top Texas criminal defense lawyer like Attorney Jeffrey C. Grass. Our law firm’s founder has been practicing law for more than 20 years, which included a period serving as a U.S. Navy Judge Advocate (JAG). He also maintains an AV® Preeminent Peer Review Rating from Martindale-Hubbell®.
If you or a loved one have been arrested for possession of synthetic drugs in Dallas County, contact the Law Offices of Jeffrey C. Grass to discuss your case in a confidential and free case evaluation. Call (214) 431-3897.