Ketamine is a type of medication that is used for anesthesia purposes. It is commonly associated with use in a veterinary setting, namely for sedating and tranquilizing horses. In recent times, people have been using it as a recreational club drug, thus landing it the nickname, "horse drug", and other similar names. It is also known as "K", "Special K", "Vitamin K", and other names.
Ketamine is often abused as a recreational drug because it induces a trance-like state, and often has effects such as pain relief, relaxation, and sedation. However, long-term users can suffer dangerous and even deadly side effects, such as psychosis, low/high blood pressure, spasms, and muscle tremors. Even short-term or one-time users can be exposed to similar health risks.
The drug has been linked to many cases of death and injury; thus, ketamine is subject to very strict regulation under federal and state drug laws. The drug has also been linked to many instances of drug-related date rape cases.
What Are the Penalties for Ketamine Violations?
Unauthorized possession, sale, or usage of ketamine can result in some serious legal punishments. In many states, possession or sale of ketamine is classified as a "wobbler" offense. This means it can either be charged as a misdemeanor or a felony. Misdemeanor ketamine-related charges can result in up to a year in jail, and/or fines of up to $1,000.
Felony charges may result in longer jail sentences (usually 2-3 years) and up to $10,000 in fines.
Punishments and consequences may vary by state. Also, the difference between misdemeanor and felony charges may depend on various factors. These can include: the amount of ketamine involved; whether the defendant intended to sell the drugs; the person’s previous criminal record, and other factors.
Are There Any Defenses to Ketamine Charges?
Ketamine violations can often be subject to various criminal defenses. Some of these include:
- The person was authorized to handle or possess ketamine
- The substance in question was not actually ketamine
- The person was not under the influence of ketamine at the time (its effects may resemble those of other substances)
- Due to the seriousness of ketamine violations, other sentencing options such as pretrial diversion may not be available in some ketamine-related cases.
Do I Need a Lawyer for Help with Ketamine Charges?
Ketamine is a very powerful substance that is subject to strict regulation under criminal laws. You may to need hire a criminal lawyer in your area if you need help with any type of ketamine-related legal issue. Your attorney can provide you with legal advice and assistance for any type of claim you may be involved with. Also, if you need additional information or have any specific questions, your lawyer can research the laws in your to determine what options you may have.