Can I Get Arrested for Selling Fake Drugs to a Cop?

David Lindsey, Attorney at Law
selling fake drugs

Selling Fake Drugs

Selling illegal drugs or selling legal drugs without the proper authority to do so is illegal. But what if you sell something that is not really a drug or that is not the drug you claimed it to be?

Can selling fake drugs get you into legal trouble?

Yes. It’s a plain and simple answer. Selling fake drugs is illegal. If you make the mistake of selling something you claim is a drug to an undercover officer or it is determined in any other way that you sold fake drugs, you can get into legal trouble. The fact that you were not selling an illegal substance won’t be enough to get you out of trouble.

You Can Be Charged with Fraud for Selling Fake Drugs

Just because you aren’t selling an illegal drug doesn’t mean you aren’t guilty of a crime. Selling fake drugs is fraud. Taking money based on false pretenses is fraud and is a crime. A successful fraud conviction requires prosecutors to show you intentionally and materially made false statements that were material to a transaction. You wouldn’t have received money for the item unless you lied about what it was.

Of course, if you sell fake illegal drugs to a random person or someone tries to buy a legal pharmaceutical from you for illegal use, they’re unlikely to report you. After all, they intended to commit a crime.

But if you sell fake drugs to an undercover law enforcement officer or informant could result in an arrest based on suspicion of fraud. In some cases, the act of trying to sell an illegal substance is also a crime. You could be looking at multiple criminal charges. The mere act of claiming you are selling something illegal, even if you are not, is a crime.

What about Legal Drugs?

The sale of legal prescription drugs is illegal when the person buying the drug does not have a prescription. The seller is also responsible if the buyer has no prescription. And if you claim a product is a legal prescription drug and it is not, you are committing a federal crime. The federal government regulates prescription drugs. Federal law prohibits the sale of counterfeit drugs, but the sale must involve interstate commerce. However, there are also state laws against the sale of counterfeit drugs, so you could still have a problem on your hands even if you did not travel out of state for the sale.

Furthermore, if you’ve conducted transactions online involving counterfeit drugs, you could face multiple serious charges for fraud and other crimes. All online drug sales are interstate commerce. This makes it a federal crime to sell counterfeit drugs.

For a more in-depth look at laws related to drugs and internet commerce, check out this information on the regulation of online pharmacies from Columbia University.

To learn more about drug sales in general, check out this information on pharmaceutical laws from HG Legal Resources.

What are My Defense Options If I’m Charged with Selling Fake Drugs?

You might have several options for defending against a fake drug sales charge. You and your attorney should discuss these options and determine how to proceed based on your situation.

Some of your options might include:

  • If you had no intention of misleading anyone so there is no fraud. This doesn’t mean you’ll avoid penalties altogether, but the outcome might not be as severe because the prosecution will not be able to prove fraud. Fraud requires intent.
  • If you did not know the substance in your possession wasn’t a drug, you can claim a lack of knowledge. This would be the case if someone sold you a product claiming it was a particular drug and you sold it based on this information and did not know you were a victim of fraud. Again, you could still face a penalty, but the fraud charges could be dropped under these circumstances.

Contact a Drugs Crimes Attorney

If you have been accused of selling fake drugs or you are facing drug charges of any kind, you need an attorney. Selling drugs, real or counterfeit, is a serious offense and you could face serious penalties including fines and prison time. You need a drug crimes legal expert to help you build your defense.

For more information or to speak to someone about your situation, contact David Lindsey.

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