Anyone facing drug charges under Florida law should take the matter very seriously. Whether you've been accused of a crime related to marijuana, prescription drugs, heroin or some other narcotic, the penalties for a conviction could change your life permanently. The stakes are even higher if you have been accused of importing controlled substances across national borders or trafficking drugs across state lines.
Drug trafficking and drug importation are crimes that are prosecuted on the federal level. However, state laws may ban certain drugs or drug-related substances that haven't yet been banned by the federal government. As of Aug. 13, that was the case for the substance called AB-Pinaca.
Florida has banned the chemical compound because it can be used in making synthetic drugs -- in particular, spice. Louisiana, Colorado and Alabama have also reportedly classified AB-Pinaca as an illegal substance, but the compound hasn't yet been banned under federal law.
After an investigation conducted by state and federal law enforcement, two people in Alabama were recently arrested and charged with trafficking AB-Pinaca. However, the charges were brought only on the state level because the compound hasn't been classified by the Drug Enforcement Administration. The DEA is likely to classify the drug as illegal on the federal level in the near future.
The 20-year-old woman and 26-year-old man are accused of receiving roughly four pounds of AB-Pinaca from China. According to authorities, a single use of the drug can cause organ failure.
If state or federal authorities have accused you of a drug crime, then it is extremely important that you have legal counsel as soon as possible. Early intervention and good preparation are often the keys to effectively challenging the prosecution's evidence. Remember, too, that what you do and say in the presence of law enforcement could result in very negative consequences, and a criminal defense attorney can help protect you from self-incrimination.
Source: Montgomery Advertiser, "New form of synthetic drug seized in Alabama," Aug. 13, 2014