Different drug crimes have varied penalties, so if you're facing a charge, it's important to know exactly what it's for. A charge's potential penalties for a Schedule I drug will be different than one for a schedule III drug.
Why does the schedule of a drug matter? When you think about it, the more dangerous a drug is, the less the authorities want it on the streets or being transferred to others without prescriptions. The misuse of drugs that are addictive or potentially dangerous causes a number of negative things to occur from increasing crime rates to causing unnecessary deaths from overdoses.
What scheduled drug category is the most serious when it comes to violations?
A Schedule I drug is the category for heavily restricted drugs. These drugs have a high potential for abuse, and they have no medical use in the United States. An example of a Schedule I drug would be marijuana, even though it is now legal and used for medical purposes in some states. By federal law, marijuana is still illegal.
Schedule II drugs, in comparison, have a high potential for abuse but also have medically acceptable uses in the United States. These drugs are controlled because they can lead to physical or psychological dependence. For example, opiates can lead to dependency.
Schedule III drugs have a lower potential for abuse, but abusing these drugs could lead to some moderate or low levels of physical or psychological dependency.
Schedule IV drugs have medical purposes and a low potential for abuse. Some have the potential to be addictive if abused, but the likelihood is much lower than those listed above.
Schedule V drugs are the lowest category of the list. These drugs have a low potential for abuse and are unlikely to cause dependency or addiction. Codeine is an example of a Schedule V drug.
As you can see, the schedule the drugs you're accused of possessing does matter. A lower level drug may not be controlled, whereas a Schedule I drug is typically illegal. Your attorney can help you understand what the drug's schedule means to your case. Our website has more information.