Controlled Drug Schedules and How They Affect Sentencing

When you're facing drug charges, the type of drug you were caught with plays a factor in your sentencing if you are found guilty. Part of handing down punishments will depend on the "schedule" your drug falls under. There are five different controlled substance schedules, and drugs are categorized depending on whether or not they are currently accepted for medical use, their potential to be abused, and the likeliness of causing dependence when abused. Here is how the Texas Board of Pharmacy describes the five schedules:

  • Schedule I: These drugs have a high abuse risk. They have no safe, accepted medical use in the United States. Examples would be heroin, LSD, and crack cocaine.
  • Schedule II: These drugs also have a high abuse risk, but they also have safe and accepted medical uses in the United States. They can cause severe psychological or physical dependence. Examples include cocaine, morphine, oxycodone, methylphenidate (Ritalin), and dextroamphetamine (Dexedrine).
  • Schedule III, IV and V: These drugs have a smaller abuse risk than Schedule I or II drugs. They also have safe and accepted medical uses in the United States. Examples would be anti-anxiety medication, tranquilizers, sedatives and stimulants.

Does this make a difference in your criminal case? You’d better believe it! The type of drug your case involves can mean the difference between two years in jail and a $10,000 fine, compared with no jail time and a smaller fine. Your Texas drug offense lawyer can explain the implications for your particular case and his strategy for having your charges reduced or dropped.

If you have been arrested on drug-related charges in Texas, contact Waco drug crime defense attorney Walter Reaves at ###-###-#### (Replace with toll-free phone number when available) to arrange for a free consultation.

Walter Reaves
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Criminal Defense Attorney Walter Reaves has been practicing law for over 30 years.
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