Michael A. Gottlieb, P.A. - Fort Lauderdale Criminal Defense Lawyer

What is the 'schedule' system for controlled substances?

Many people may not know the "schedule" system for controlled substances. In fact, many people may not know what a controlled substance is. To the latter, the answer is very simple: it is any illicit drug that will have a negative impact on a person's welfare, livelihood or health. To the former, the answer is a bit more complex.

The scheduling system is a tiered ranking of controlled substances. The punishment will reflect how the substance is rated in the schedule system, with the most severe substances (Schedule I substances) garnering the harshest consequences, and the least severe substances (Schedule V substances) garnering far less punishment, relatively speaking.

So what qualifies a substance for each of the schedules? Let's take a look:

Schedule V drugs are substances that contain narcotics in small doses and, thus, can be obtained over the counter. Cough syrups that contain codeine qualify as Schedule V.

Schedule III and Schedule IV drugs are powerful substances that are related to prescriptions or medications. Schedule III substances have a greater risk for abuse by users. Schedule III substances are things such as Vicodin and codeine, while Schedule IV substances such as Xanax and Valium.

Schedule II drugs are highly addicting substances, such as OxyContin, Percocet and morphine.

Schedule I drugs are the substances that everyone knows about: heroin, marijuana, and LSD are examples of these highly-publicized drugs.

Depending on the schedule of the substances involved in your case (and the quantity of the substances), you could be at risk of some serious penalties. Get legal help as soon as possible to work towards minimizing the potential damage.

Source: FindLaw, "What Is a Controlled Substance?," Accessed Sept. 9, 2015

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