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    As a former Deputy Public Defender in Riverside County, Mr. Donath has always been on the defense side of the law. 

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    Top 100 Trial Attorneys in California 2012-2014, 2008 Trial Attorney of the Year by the Riverside County Public Defender's Office, and dozens of other awards and accolades.

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Is It Illegal To Sell Fake Drugs?

Posted in Criminal Defense,Drug FAQ'S on February 3, 2022

When you are arrested on drug-related charges, you may not initially be concerned if the drugs in question were fake or counterfeit. However, you may be surprised to learn that selling counterfeit drugs is illegal under state and federal law. 

The consequences of a conviction could haunt you for the rest of your life. Make sure you take steps to protect your future by hiring a drug lawyer at the Law Offices of Graham D. Donath, who can help you understand the severity of the charges against you. 

When Can You Be Charged for Selling Fake Drugs in CA?

There are many instances in which you could be charged criminally for selling fake drugs. Under California Code Penal Code § 484, it is against the law to take money from someone under intentionally false pretenses. This is considered criminal fraud. 

California law also prohibits the sale of counterfeit drugs under California Health & Safety Code Section 11355 HSC. Any online sale of fake drugs can also result in additional counterfeit drug sale charges and even federal counterfeit drug sale charges if your drug sales involve interstate commerce.

Penalties for Selling Fake Drugs

The consequences you can face for selling counterfeit drugs can vary depending on the charges you are facing. The sale of fake drugs is considered a wobbler offense

This is because it can be tried at either the misdemeanor or felony level, depending on whether aggravating factors are present in your case. Some of these factors might include:

  • Having a criminal history
  • A child being involved
  • Lack of remorse
  • Use of a firearm or other weapon

If convicted of a misdemeanor selling fake drugs charge, in the state of California, you could spend up to one year in jail, whereas if you were convicted of a felony, you might spend up to three years in prison.

If you were charged with federal counterfeit drug sale charges across state lines, you could face a federal prison term of up to three years and fines as high as $10,000 under 21 USC § 333 (a)(2).

In addition to the jail time and fines you are facing, you may also experience collateral fallout from a conviction. If you are found guilty, you might be deal with one or more of the following consequences:

  • Immigration or citizenship issues
  • Loss of firearm rates
  • Random drug or alcohol testing
  • Parole or probation requirements
  • Child custody issues
  • Difficulty finding a job
  • Loss of federal student aid eligibility
  • Suspension of your driver’s license
  • Revocation or suspension of your professional licenses
  • Trouble finding safe housing

With penalties this severe, it is critical that you do everything possible to avoid being found guilty of selling counterfeit drugs in California.

Get Help From a Drug Lawyer in California Today

If you have been accused of selling fake drugs or were arrested on another type of drug charge, you must do everything possible to clear your name. 

When you need an aggressive drug sales lawyer in Riverside or around California to help you determine how to approach your defense, contact the Law Offices of Graham D. Donath. Schedule your confidential consultation when you call our Riverside office at 951-667-5293 or our Orange County office at 714-758-5293 or complete our quick contact form