With nearly 20 years of experience, Omaha drug lawyer Daniel Stockmann has successfully managed countless cases involving synthetic drugs. Created by man-made chemicals, as opposed to natural ingredients, synthetics are appearing more frequently in recent years than they have in the past. Around 200 to 300 new “designer” drugs were found between 2009 and 2014, usually coming into the United States from China. Besides causing challenges for those who become involved with them, synthetic drugs are good at one other thing: creating confusion in courtrooms around the country.
Sentencing is Subjective when Dealing with Synthetics
During drug possession cases, the judge uses a table to give out a sentence. He takes into consideration defendant’s criminal history, the level of responsibility, and the amount of drugs he possessed. It’s easy to determine sentencing for drugs like cocaine, heroin, or marijuana, which are on the table. Synthetic drugs, like bath salts, are not detailed on most tables. This puts judges in a difficult position where they have to figure out to what the man-made drug resembles the synthetic the most from the listed drugs, and then how to sentence someone.
“Designer” Drugs Cause Confusion in Court
One example of this confusion sentencing recently occurred in Louisiana. The drug, referred to as Mr. Miyagi on the street, was a mind-altering chemical that had vegetable materials in it and resembled marijuana. This sentencing process, like many others involving synthetic drugs, was bogged down by complex science, as officials could not agree what the substance was most similar to. Was it pure THC, marijuana’s principal ingredient or marijuana itself? The defendant’s argument was that the drug resembled marijuana the most, which comes with a far lighter punishment than THC does. In the end, it was concluded Mr. Miyagi resembled THC the most, which resulted in the defendants being sentenced to 10 years in prison each.
Synthetics Cause Issues in Hospitals Too
Even though synthetics resemble drugs already on the street, they’re not always exactly the same. This means that they may not show up in the same tests or respond to the same treatments in case of overdoses. While the courts are struggling how to handle sentencing and consequences for them, hospitals are at a loss on how to detect them and some overdoses are presently largely untreatable.
Speak with an Omaha Drug Lawyer Today
Needless to say, ten years in prison is a lot, not even considering the impacts this would have on a person’s life outside doing time, but it’s worse if you could have gotten a lesser punishment if you had a lawyer with better negotiation and courtroom skills. If you’re facing a synthetics charge, get in touch with an experienced Omaha drug lawyer who has the knowledge and experience to provide you with a strong defense. Daniel Stockmann helps people beat their charges and move on with their lives. Schedule your case evaluation by calling (844) 906-0641 today.