In most states, including Florida, it is illegal to sell a substance as an illegal drug, even if the actual substance is legal. Selling anything that you claim to be an illegal drug, real or not, is still considered a drug crime. However, as a secondary offense, this is also considered to be criminal fraud based on intent and material, even if you are selling a mixture of baking soda under the pretense of being Ecstasy.
Florida Statute Regarding Counterfeit Drugs
In 2008, Florida passed the Anti-Counterfeiting Act, a law designed to not only protect consumers, but to keep patients who were suffering from illness or disease from being denied therapies that were designed to alleviate suffering. This law primarily pertains to the sale of fake prescription drugs. Although the law addressed all types of counterfeit activity, it provides additional penalties for those who engaged in the sale or manufacture of counterfeit drugs.
Penalties for Sale of Counterfeit Drugs
According to Florida law, anyone who is convicted of selling misbranded or adulterated drugs is guilty of a second degree misdemeanor if it is their first conviction. Subsequent convictions could be considered a misdemeanor of the first degree. A second degree misdemeanor in Florida carries a punishment of up to 60 days in jail and a $500 fine, while a first degree misdemeanor carries a punishment of up to one year in jail and a $1,000 fine.
Counterfeit Drugs Common in Online Sales
Much of the discussion about counterfeit drugs involves online pharmacies who claim to be purchasing drugs from Mexico, Canada or other countries. When the drugs arrive, however, many have added substances that are not authorized by the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA). In some cases, the added ingredients could be harmful to patients who are taking the drugs for medical conditions. In other cases, the drugs are not the compounds approved by the FDA and may not work to treat the intended medical condition.
Contact Khonsari Law Group for Legal Representation
If you have been affected by the sale of counterfeit drugs, or if you or a loved one has been charged with a crime, including possession or sale of counterfeit drugs, contact the Khonsari Law Group by phone or online. We will diligently work with you to defend you or your loved one’s rights.