The crime of rape, whether committed by someone the victim knows and trusts or a complete stranger, often involves alcohol or other drugs. Women who have had too much to drink are particularly vulnerable to sexual assault and rape, including date rape. Although certain drugs come to mind when the term “date rape drugs” is used, any drug can increase the risk of sexual assault.
That being said, there are three drugs that are commonly referred to as date rape drugs – Ketamine, GHB and Rohypnol (often called “roofies”). Simply being in possession of one of these drugs won’t necessarily carry a stiffer penalty than being in possession of a non-date rape drug of the same class. If, however, you committed a sexual assault while in possession of the drug, or the prosecution believes you intended to do so, you may be facing some serious time behind bars.
What is Rohypnol?
Commonly referred to as roofies, Rohypnol is a prescription drug used to treat severe insomnia. In addition to being a powerful muscle relaxer and sedative, the drug can also induce amnesia. Even a very small amount of the drug can have these effects, which generally last for up to 12 hours. Although not approved for use in the U.S., Rohypnol is available in Mexico and Europe.
Although most commonly associated with date rape, Rohypnol is also a popular recreational drug. The same is true of Ketamine (often called Special K) and GHB, both of which produce similar effects to Rohypnol. A Boston drug crimes defense attorney can help you protect your rights if you’ve been charged with drug possession.
Penalties for Possession of a Date Rape Drug
As with all criminal offenses, the punishment is based on multiple factors, including prior criminal history, the severity of the crime and the unique circumstances of the case. In MA, you may be facing the following penalties if you are found in possession of Rohypnol.
- Simple possession: Up to three years in prison and a minimum fine of $5,000.
- Possession with intent to distribute: A minimum of 10 years in prison, up to life, and a fine of up to $4 million. If the crime resulted in someone’s death, the minimum sentence is increased to 20 years.
Although Rohypnol is classified as a Schedule IV drug (low risk of abuse), it is punished as a Schedule I drug. Other Schedule I drugs include heroin, MDMA (ecstasy) and LSD. A MA drug crimes defense lawyer can help you determine how to proceed if you’ve been charged with any type of drug crime.
The penalties above pertain to possession, not drugging a person with the intent to engage in sexual intercourse. If you used Rohypnol, GHB, Ketamine or any other drug to sexually assault another person, you may be facing 10 years imprisonment with the possibility of life in prison.
Altman & Altman, LLP – Boston’s Premier Drug Crimes Defense Law Firm
If you have been charged with a drug crime, the skilled legal team at Altman & Altman, LLP can help. We have been protecting the rights of individuals charged with criminal offenses for more than 50 years. All three “date rape drugs” are also used recreationally, but being found in possession of these drugs carries a unique stigma. Being labeled as a rapist can be devastating, both personally and professionally. At Altman & Altman, LLP, we understand how easily a misunderstanding can ruin a person’s life. We will fight tirelessly to protect your rights, reputation and freedom. If you’ve been charged with possession of a date rape drug, we can help. Contact Altman & Altman, LLP today for a free and confidential consultation about your case.