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North Carolina Criminal Law Chapter 14-34.4(a): Adulteration or Misbranding of Food, Drugs, or Cosmetics With Intent to Inflict Serious Injury or Death

1. Definition and Elements of the Crime

Adulteration or Misbranding of Food, Drugs, or Cosmetics Under North Carolina Criminal Law Chapter 14-34.4(a), the crime of adulteration or misbranding of food, drugs, or cosmetics with intent to inflict serious injury or death is defined as altering or mislabeling food, drugs or cosmetics for the specific purpose of inflicting serious injury or death on the victim.

It is a felony criminal charge in North Carolina.

To prove a charge of crime of adulteration or misbranding of food, drugs, or cosmetics with intent to inflict serious injury or death, the State must be able to establish the following prima facie elements Beyond a Reasonable Doubt:

  1. That the Defendant
    1. a. Manufactured, sold, delivered, offered for sale OR held for sale a food, drug OR cosmetic, knowing that it was adulterated and/or misbranded AND
    2. b. Knowingly adulterated or misbranded a food, drug or cosmetic
  2. That in so doing the Defendant intended to cause serious injury or death to the alleged victim of the crime
2. Examples

Defendant dislikes a co-worker in his office who constantly criticizes him and other employees. One day Defendant overhears that co-worker is deathly allergic to peanuts. Defendant is tired of listening to the co-worker and wants to teach him a lesson. Defendant purchases a bag of peanuts and crushes them up. Defendant pours the crushed peanuts into co-workers espresso when he is not looking. Co-worker goes into anaphylactic shock and dies when he takes a sip of the coffee. Defendant can be charged with adulteration or misbranding of food, drugs, or cosmetics with intent to inflict serious injury or death. The Defendant could also be charged with murder in North Carolina, as the mens rea (evil mind) to cause harm could easily be inferred by the Finder of Fact. Whether the accused knew or reasonably should have known his intentional acts would cause the death of another human being would be at issue in defending charges for murder or even voluntary manslaughter charges.

Defendant’s friend belongs to a very wealthy family. Defendant is on an academic scholarship to the fancy private school that Defendant and friend attend. Friend constantly makes fun of Defendant’s knock-off clothes and cheap cosmetics. Defendant gets fed up one day and decides to take revenge for her friend’s insensitive comments. Defendant knows that friend is cannot take prescription painkillers as she is extremely allergic to them. Friend asks Defendant for an Advil because she has a headache. Defendant hands Friend a hydrocodone tablet knowing that it is not Advil. Defendant’s friend passes out on the floor and has to be resuscitated by EMS. Luckily Defendant’s friend survives. Defendant can be charged with adulteration or misbranding of food, drugs, or cosmetics with intent to inflict serious injury or death. Defendant might also reasonably be indicted for attempted murder charges in North Carolina.

3. Related Offenses

Other similar or related offenses include:

  1. What does it mean to be “indicted” in North Carolina?
  2. Should I talk to the police?
  3. Lawyers who handle manslaughter charges in Charlotte
  4. Murder lawyers NC
  5. For a list of other crimes that constitute violent crimes punishable as Class C felonies under North Carolina state law, please click here.
4. Defenses to Adulteration or Misbranding of Food, Drugs, or Cosmetics with Intent to Inflict Serious Injury or Death

Adulteration or Misbranding of Food, Drugs, or Cosmetics The Defendant has a viable defense under North Carolina law if they can show that they did not adulterate or mislabel a food, drug or cosmetic and/or that they did not act with the intent to cause serious injury or death to the victim.

5. Penalties

Punishment for the crime of adulteration or misbranding of food, drugs, or cosmetics with intent to inflict serious injury or death is as a Class C felony, punishable with maximum period of incarceration (prison) of 231 months in a state correctional facility.

6. Criminal Defense for Adulteration or Misbranding of Food, Drugs, or Cosmetics With Intent to Inflict Serious Injury or Death

If you have been charged with adulteration or misbranding of food, drugs, or cosmetics with intent to inflict serious injury, you must seek an experienced criminal law attorney immediately. This charge carries substantial potential prison terms in the custody of the North Carolina Department of Public Safety (DPS), Division of Adult Corrections. Your life will be drastically impacted if you are convicted of this felony offense.

Bill Powers is Board Certified as a Criminal Law Specialist by the National Board of Legal Specialty Certification (NBLSC) / National Board of Trial Advocacy (NBTA). Chris J. Beddow is part of the North Carolina criminal law defense team Powers Law Firm PA. We believe it is imperative to begin your defense without delay.

Please call 704-342-4357 immediately.

The consultation is free.

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