Virginia Laws Against Distribution Of Imitation Controlled Substances
Virginia law features sweeping prohibitions against various drug crimes, also known as controlled substances. One of the most incredibly serious drug crimes in Virginia involves the distribution of Schedule I/II substances like heroin or cocaine. But Virginia laws against drug crimes do not stop there. Virginia also prohibits the distribution of substances that mimic, but are not exactly the same as, controlled substances. These substances are referred to legally as imitation controlled substances.
Definition of Imitation Controlled Substance
The definition of an imitation controlled substance appears under Code of Virginia Section 18.2-247. This term can refer to any:
- Counterfeit controlled substance;
- Pill, capsule, tablet, or substance in any form that causes a likelihood of confusion with an actual controlled substance; or
- Pill, capsule, tablet, or substance in any form that purports to act like a controlled substance by stimulating or depressing the nervous system.
To determine whether a pill, capsule, tablet, or substance qualifies as an imitation controlled substance, Section 18.2-247 outlines several analytical factors. On top of any other relevant factors, this analysis focuses on:
- Comparisons with similar, but legitimate, substances in terms of appearance, marketing methods, and dosage form;
- Promotional materials or any oral or written representations concerning the substance; and
- Distribution methods of the substance and method of sale to the public.
Laws Against Distribution of Imitation Controlled Substance
The laws against distribution of an imitation controlled substance appear under Code of Virginia Section 18.2-248. This section prohibits most individuals from the distribution, manufacture, sale, or gift of any imitation controlled substance. This section also prohibits most individuals from the possession of an imitation controlled substance under circumstances that indicate an intent to commit a distribution crime.
Penalties for Distribution of Imitation Controlled Substance
The Virginia penalties for distribution of an imitation controlled substance also appear under Section 18.2-248. But this distribution crime features both misdemeanor and felony versions.
If a person distributes — or possesses with intent to distribute — any Schedule V/VI imitation controlled substance, it is a Class 1 misdemeanor. The punishment upon conviction for this misdemeanor can include a maximum of 12 months in jail and $2,500 in criminal fines.
If a person distributes — or possesses with intent to distribute — any Schedule I/II/III/IV imitation controlled substance, it is a Class 6 felony. The punishment upon conviction for this felony can include one to five years in prison and up to $2,500 in criminal fines.
Do You Need Legal Help?
If you need legal assistance with charges for any drug crime in Virginia, it can be incredibly valuable to speak with a knowledgeable Leesburg drug crimes lawyer. The lawyers at Simms Showers LLP showcase the aptitude required to help you fight back against criminal charges, including those related to drug crimes. If you need legal help with criminal defense, contact us today for a free initial consultation.