Sale of Look-Alike Drugs Is a Serious Crime in Illinois

joliet drug lawyerNearly every day, the Will County jail receives new prisoners charged with drug crimes ranging from marijuana possession to heroin dealing. With real drugs seemingly available in every town, it may seem surprising to hear of people being charged with selling fake drugs. Yet the Illinois Controlled Substances Act defines the sale of look-alike drugs as a serious crime.

What Is the Definition of “Look-Alike Drugs”?

A look-alike drug is defined as a substance that a reasonable person would believe is a controlled substance based on its color, shape, size, markings, taste, consistency, and packaging, or that the seller states or implies is a controlled substance.

What Is the Penalty for Possession of a Look-Alike Drug?

The first time a person is caught in knowing possession of a look-alike substance, they are guilty of a petty offense punishable by a small fine. A subsequent offense, however, is a Class C misdemeanor, punishable by no more than 30 days in jail and a fine of no more than $1,500.

What Is the Penalty for Manufacturing/Distributing a Look-Alike Drug?

A person who knowingly manufactures, distributes, or possesses with intent to distribute a look-alike substance is guilty of a Class 3 felony, punishable by imprisonment for two to five years and a fine not to exceed $150,000. However, a person 18 years of age or older who sells certain look-alike drugs to a person under 18 years of age may be given a prison sentence up to twice the maximum term and fine up to twice the maximum amount stated above.

Are Many People Actually Arrested on Look-Alike Drug Charges in Illinois?

As strange as it may seem, there have been numerous reports on look-alike drug sellers in Illinois this year. The most concerning such reports involve dangerous substances that are purported to be something else by a seller. For example, in May 2018, the Perry County, Illinois, sheriff’s office put out a warrant for the arrest of a woman who sold a substance she claimed was heroin to a confidential informant. The substance turned out to be a combination of Tramadol and Fentanyl, two powerful opioids that could have caused a user to overdose.

In Peoria County, a man was indicted in June 2018 for possession with intent to distribute a look-alike substance that he falsely claimed was a synthetic cannabinoid commonly referred to as K2 or Spice.

Call a Knowledgeable Joliet Drug Crimes Defense Attorney

If you have been arrested on illegal drug or controlled substance charges, seek advice from an experienced Will County drug crimes defense attorney. At the Law Office of Jack L. Zaremba, we will aggressively defend you against any misdemeanor or felony drug charges. Contact us at 815-740-4025 for a free and confidential consultation.

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