What are drug schedules and how do they affect criminal cases? 

On Behalf of | Jun 27, 2024 | Drug Charges |

When facing a drug possession case, a defendant may face a harsh sentence depending on a few facts. Some of these factors include the quantity of drugs in possession, the intent of the drugs and the suspect’s criminal history. The classification of the illegal substances involved can also have a large influence on drug possession cases. 

Substances are categorized into schedules under the Controlled Substance Act. Possession of a high-schedule drug can lead to a harsher sentence. Here is what you should know:

What to know about the Controlled Substance Act 

The Controlled Substance Act was passed in 1970 under the Comprehensive Drug Abuse Prevention and Control Act. The main intent of the Controlled Substance Act is to help classify and regulate substances, including deciding what drugs can be legally manufactured and distributed. To manage what drugs were acceptable for medical and public use, substances were categorized into schedules.  

There are five drug schedules. Schedule III to Schedule V drugs are often found in stores, bought with prescriptions and used in medical facilities. These drugs have a low chance of leading to addiction and well-known medicinal values. However, Schedule III drugs can be more addictive than Schedule V drugs. 

On the other end of the list, Schedule I and II are the highest classifications for substances because of their ability to cause addiction and their lack of legitimate medicinal uses.  As a result, possession, manufacture or distribution of highly addictive substances can lead to a harsher criminal sentence. 

Legal guidance is available for people facing drug possession criminal charges. A defendant may have their charges reduced or dismissed with the right legal defense strategy. 


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