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Newly scheduled and banned drug could lead to criminal charges

| Mar 24, 2021 | Drug Charges |

In Birmingham and throughout Alabama, there are certain drugs that are known to be illegal and could lead to an arrest for possession, sales, trafficking and distribution. These include cocaine, heroin, methamphetamine, Fentanyl and others. Scheduled drugs are regulated by the government and, in some instances, people are unaware as to their illegality. While people involved in drugs that are deemed illegal should be cognizant of the potential for an arrest and criminal charges, newly scheduled drugs could lead to confusion and people arrested drugs they did not know had been scheduled. It is important to know how to cobble together a defense when dealing with this type of issue.

Antidepressant newly scheduled now illegal in Alabama

An antidepressant called tianeptine was scheduled in the fall of 2020 and is now illegal in Alabama. It is categorized as Schedule II. Previously found in gas station convenience stores, it is said to be comparable to opioids. The Food and Drug Administration has not approved it. Often marked under various names as an herbal or dietary supplement, it could lead to people being arrested while not knowing the change in classification and the possibility of criminal charges. The spelling of the supplement on its packaging is important as those who sell it as tianeptine can currently face charges, but selling it under other names is not yet banned. This is a loophole that legislators are trying to close.

Understanding how to combat drug charges

The government will “schedule” certain drugs. This may mean they are either devoid of medical use (Schedule I), have a propensity to be abused (Schedule II), have moderate to low risk of dependence and abuse (Schedule III), have a low risk of dependence and abuse (Schedule IV and V). Tianeptine is now Schedule II. Being arrested for drug charges can be intimidating. This can be exacerbated if the arrest was made for selling or possessing a drug that the person did not know had been scheduled and they made a mistake.

Having a strong defense is imperative

Depending on the drug itself, how much was possessed or sold and the circumstances surround it, there could be long-term ramifications like jail, fines and more. It is critical to know the available options for criminal defense. Since this specific drug was recently scheduled, people facing charges might have more alternatives than those charged with other drug crimes. Still, any drug-related allegation can cause long-term problems. For assistance in fighting the charges, having experienced advice is a useful first step.