Selling Counterfeit Fake Drugs — Louisiana


Sale of Counterfeit Drugs New Orleans

It is a crime to Distribute Fake Drugs under both state and federal law.  In Louisiana, the statute pertaining to this offense may be found as La. R.S. 40:971.1   The law states that it is unlawful for any person to distribute any substance which is represented to be a controlled dangerous substance which is an imitation or fake controlled dangerous substance, or any controlled.  The penalty for this crime make it a felony offense.  The sentencing is 0 to 5 years with or without hard labor or a fine of up to $5,000.00, or both.   


It is important to note that the statute does not make it illegal  to simply possess counterfeit drugs, with no intent to sell them.  However, a police officer may have sufficient probable cause to arrest someone who is in possession of a large quantity of counterfeit drugs for possession with intent to distribute.  This particular crime only applies to counterfeit controlled substances that are listed under the Louisiana list of controlled dangerous substances.


Under federal law, the act of selling counterfeit drugs is usually prosecuted under  21 USC Section 331.  This federal law pertains to the sale of counterfeit pharmaceuticals through interstate commerce under the Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act.  A lack of criminal intent to defraud the consumer is not a defense and does not bar prosecution under this statute.  So, a defendant who can show that he did not intend to sell counterfeit drugs to anyone will not be acquitted, she will probably just receive a lighter sentence.


The penalty for a violation of this statute by someone with no intent to defraud or mislead is 0 to 1 year in prison or a fine of up to $1,000.00, or both.  If the offender intended to mislead or defraud the penalty increases to a prison sentence of 0 to 3 years or a fine of not more than $10,000.00, or both.


Online sales of pharmaceuticals have led to an increase in federal prosecutions for counterfeit drug sales. Each individual sale can be charged and punished as a violation, leading to sentences of many decades for offenders who make many sales of a counterfeit pharmaceutical.


Consult A Lawyer

If you have been arrested for any State or Federal Drug Crime, contact Elizabeth B. Carpenter, Esq., a highly skilled Criminal Defense Attorney.   Our Office has skillfully defended drug crime offenses in virtually every type of case imaginable.  We are ready to protect your rights.


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