If you have been accused of possessing or distributing a drug analog or designer drug, it is imperative that you take action to protect your rights by hiring a competent defense attorney. Both state and federal law make possession or distribution of a drug analog punishable in the same manner as possession or distribution of a controlled substance. This means that based on the nature and circumstances of your charges, your case may be heard before either a state court or a federal court. Therefore, it is critical that your Lincoln drug analog defense lawyer has both state and federal drug defense experience. By working with an experienced drug lawyer with this experience, you can give yourself the best chance of a positive outcome.
What is a “Drug Analog” or “Designer Drug”?
Most high-profile drug cases reported on the news and in the media revolve around well-established and commonly known drugs, such as marijuana, cocaine, and methamphetamine. These “traditional” drugs are legally referred to as controlled substances and are outlawed at the federal and state levels by the Controlled Substances Act of 1970 and the state’s own controlled substances act, respectively.
Modern technology, however, has allowed those willing to alter these traditional drugs by changing the chemical composition of the active ingredient found in these traditional drugs while producing the same (or similar) effect. Because the chemical composition of the active ingredient is changed in designer drugs, the resulting substance is no longer covered by the schedules of controlled substances in the Controlled Substances Act.
In response to this loophole, Congress included in the Controlled Substances Act a provision that states any substance with a substantially similar chemical structure to a controlled substance is considered a drug analog of the controlled substance and is likewise an illegal substance. Essentially, this means that a designer drug or analog drug is a substance that shares many of the features of a controlled substance, such as chemical structure and ability to produce a “high,” and is therefore illegal to possess or use. These substances usually have highly technical names, such as JWH-018 or Cannabicyclohexanol (CP-47, 497-C8), that are meaningless to the common public.
What Does “Substantially Similar” Mean?
The idea of two chemical structures being substantially similar is unclear at best. Experts in chemistry agree that the term is not generally used to objectively or quantitatively compare the structures of molecules and has no real universal meaning from one lab to another. Combining this hazy concept of substantial similarity with a criminal offense raises concerns of due process violations. In a drug analog case, this can take several forms, such as uncovering inconsistent positions held by various governmental departments as to whether a drug analog is truly substantially similar to a controlled substance.
The Lincoln designer drug lawyers at Berry Law are experienced at ensuring the client’s constitutional rights of due process are upheld by uncovering these inconsistencies in determining whether the government considers two substances substantially similar.
Drug Analog Crime Defense
As with other drug offenses, a great defense starts with an examination of the government’s investigation. Berry Law works tirelessly to uphold and protect our clients’ constitutional rights, including the right to be free from unreasonable searches and seizures. If the officer unlawfully searched a vehicle, office, home, computer, or phone, the designer drug lawyers at Berry Law in Lincoln will fight to keep the evidence found during that search out of court.
The Role of a Lincoln Drug Analog Attorney
The next step your Berry Law lawyer will take is to hold the government to its requisite burden of proof. In order to convict in a drug analog case, the government must show that the chemical structure of the drug analog is substantially similar to that of a controlled substance and that either:
- The accused knew the substance with which he was dealing is unlawful under some law
- The accused knew the substance with which he was dealing qualifies as an analog
While the government may rely on circumstantial evidence in proving either of the above, the lawyers at Berry Law will fight to continually ensure that the government must present a sufficient amount of evidence when trying to obtain a conviction and that the government has not “cut corners” in seeking a conviction.
Protect your rights. Protect your future. Contact our team of Lincoln designer drug attorneys at Berry Law today to discuss your defense.