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Selling Date Rape Drugs

CrimLaw7

Although most people know that selling, manufacturing, and distributing controlled substances without authorization is a violation of federal law, many are not aware that selling date rape drugs is also specifically prohibited under federal law. Conviction for this offense comes with harsh penalties, making it especially important for those who have been accused of manufacturing or selling date rape drugs, to speak with an experienced federal crime attorney who can help them begin formulating a defense.

Defining Date Rape Drugs 

Date rape drugs are specifically defined under federal law as including:

  • Gamma hydroxybutyric acid, also known as GHB;
  • Any controlled substance that is analogous to GHB, including gamma butyrolactone (GBL);
  • Ketamine;
  • Flunitrazepam; and
  • Any substance designated by the Attorney General to be used in committing sexual assault or rape.

Possessing, manufacturing, and distributing these types of drugs without authorization is strictly prohibited by federal law. In fact, someone convicted of this offense faces imprisonment for up to 20 years and if death or serious bodily injury results from the use of the substance, the sentence could be enhanced to a minimum of 20 years to life in prison. If the defendant is an individual, he or she could also be required to pay a $1,000,000 fine, while corporations could be forced to pay $5,000,000. The penalties become even more severe if a defendant has a prior conviction for a felony drug offense. In these cases, the sentence can be increased to 30 years unless someone suffers a serious bodily injury as a result of ingesting the substance, in which case the defendant faces a life sentence and a $2,000,000 fine.

Internet Sales  

Using the internet to distribute a date rape drug is also prohibited if the distributor knew or had reason to believe that:

  • The drug would be used during the commission of unlawful sexual conduct; or
  • The person buying the drug was not an authorized purchaser.

Authorized purchasers are defined as those who acquire a controlled substance and have a valid prescription that was issued for a legitimate medical purpose by someone who has a qualifying medical relationship with the recipient. A medical relationship will only be considered qualifying if the practitioner has conducted at least one in-person medical evaluation with the purchaser. In these cases, medical evaluations are presumed to demonstrate that a prescription was issued for a legitimate medical purpose. Other authorized purchasers include:

  • Any medical practitioner or registrant who is authorized to dispense, purchase, manufacture, distribute, transfer, import, or export the substance in question; and
  • Any person or entity who has documentation establishing their name, address, and business and can provide evidence of a legitimate purpose for using a date rape drug.

In the event that a person is not found to be an authorized purchaser, the seller faces a 20 year prison sentence.

Call a Dedicated Federal Crime Lawyer  

Please contact Jeffrey S. Weiner, P.A. Criminal Defense Attorneys in Miami at 305-670-9919 today if you have been charged with selling or distributing date rape drugs, so we can begin evaluating your case and formulating a defense as soon as possible.

Resource:

law.cornell.edu/uscode/text/21/841

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