A "meth lab" is any dwelling, building, or structure used for the manufacture, or "cooking" of methamphetamines.  Common signs of a meth lab are:

  • Unusual,  strong chemical odors (like cat urine, ether, ammonia, or acetone)
  • Blacked out or covered windows
  • Excessive trash containing unusually large amounts of fuel cans, anti-freeze, drain cleaner, or other chemicals
  • High traffic during late hours
  • Frequent visitors who only stay for a few minutes

Is it Illegal to Manufacture Methamphetamines?

Yes.  There are Federal and State laws that prohibit the manufacture of methamphetamines.  

Federal Laws Against Meth Labs

Recently, the Federal Government has made fighting meth a high priority.  In 1996, the Comprehensive Methamphetamine Act was passed.  This bill:

  • Permits the domestic seizure and forfeiture of methamphetamine precursor chemicals, such as pseudoephedrine.
  • Directs the Attorney General to coordinate international drug enforcement efforts to interdict such chemicals.
  • Increases penalties for the possession of equipment used to make controlled substances, and for trafficking in certain precursor chemicals.
  •  Requires an interagency task force to develop and implement prevention, education and meth treatment strategies. 

The Federal penalties for manufacturing meth are severe.  Mandatory minimum drug sentences require 5 – 10 years of incarceration for the manufacture of meth, depending on the amount seized.  Substantial fines will also be imposed.

State Laws Against Meth Labs

All states have laws against the manufacture of meth.  State penalties for the manufacture of meth vary.  However, manufacturing meth is a felony in all states.  Despite state variance, expect lengthy prison sentences and hefty fines.  

Additionally, states have recently begun regulating the sale of over the counter cold medications that contain pseudoephedrine.  These regulations limit the amount that you can buy or sell.  Additionally, possession of certain amounts is also criminal. 

I Have Been Charged With Running a Meth Lab.  Do I Need a Lawyer?

If you have been charged with running a meth lab, contact a criminal defense attorney immediately.  Minimum federal prison sentences for manufacturing meth mean that you will be facing serious jail time.  An attorney near you can help you understand both Federal and State laws.  Your attorney can also assist in your defense.