Interviewer: Have you had pretty good success with these cases or are they still really hard to defend those items?
William Kroger: They're somewhat difficult. Right now, I think we're doing about fifty-fifty. At about 50 per cent of our clients have gotten off and the other 50 per cent are still in the works. We haven't had anybody convicted on any synthetic marijuana cases but there are ones that are still ongoing, but the jury is still out, so to speak.
Synthetic Drug Cases Can be Construed as a Highly Specialized Area of the Law
Interviewer: Have you gotten any specialized training that helps you besides experience to deal with these cases? If someone's facing that, they wouldn't want to go with just a criminal attorney, they need someone that has specialized knowledge, right?
William Kroger: Very few people know what their different substances are. They don't know the different chemical compositions and they don't know what the Controlled Substance Act is. In fact, it's a very specialized area of law and I was quickly immersed in it. I've dealt with all the topnotch lawyers around the country and read all of the reports from all of the top chemists and talked to many United States Attorneys and DEA agents. I've been all around the country on these cases, defending these cases or learning more about them.
Extensive Experience and Knowledge are a Key Factor in Defending Synthetic Drug Cases
Interviewer: How many of these cases in this area have you done and how do they compare to most attorneys that may run into them randomly?
William Kroger: As one of the few synthetic drug lawyers in Los Angeles, I've done probably between 8 and 10 and I'd say most random attorneys haven't even done one because there are so few people that actually have manufactured or distributed. I got into it very early on and I've dealt with a lot of people that are in the industry or related to it and there are very few people that know about it; very few attorneys that know what these cases are all about. We have a listserv that we've created that has all the different cases going on around the country and it seems that most of the people hire lawyers that don't know what they're doing and they've never dealt with the Analogue Act. They don't know what synthetic marijuana is. For the most part, the cases seem to be either dealt out or they go to trial and they lose and the sentences they're handing out are pretty high. I've seen some sentences with 180 months attached to it, so it's pretty big sentence, 180 months in federal prison.