If you or someone you know has been accused of or charged with possession of a schedule 3 substance, you may be wondering—what does “schedule 3” mean? Controlled substances are categorized into a scheduling system or hierarchy based upon their likelihood of dependency and abuse, addictive properties, and medicinal uses.
Highly addictive non-medical drugs like LSD are ranked at the top (schedule 1), while less addictive substances like aerosol are categorized near the bottom. A charge of schedule 3 possession may carry heavier penalties than a possession charge from a lower schedule, but a skilled defense attorney can work on your behalf to reduce your sentence or even have your case dismissed.
Types Of Schedule 3 Controlled Substances
Schedule 3 substances are considered fairly addictive and are commonly prescribed by licensed doctors, where the public has general access to them. These drugs include Vicodin, hydrocodone, anabolic steroids, and ketamine. They may create dependency quickly among users but can be acquired and possessed legitimately with a prescription.
Schedule 3 Possession Penalties In Virginia
Possessing a schedule 3 controlled substance is a Class 1 misdemeanor that can result in both prison time and a heavy fine. The jail time can range up to one year, while the fine may be as high as $2500 for a first offense.
Virginia First Time Offender Program
A first-time possession charge in Virginia does not have to mean automatic jail time or fines. If you have been accused of possession, you can take advantage of a state drug diversion program. Participants who meet the conditions of the program may have their case deferred or even dismissed. However, in order to be eligible, the offender must submit to certain requirements, such as having restrictions or a suspension placed on their driver’s license, getting treatment for substance abuse, or performing community service.
In addition, the offender may need to submit to random drug and alcohol tests. This may come alongside substance abuse education.
Criminal Defense For Possession
A skilled criminal defense lawyer will fight for those charged with schedule 3 substance possession and use the available evidence to reduce the severity of any penalties when possible. This can be done by providing justification for the possession (such as a prescription) or providing reasonable doubt that the substance belongs to the accused (for example, in cases of sharing a space with a roommate). Because the court requires proof beyond a reasonable doubt in order to convict, a lawyer will attempt to provide doubt.
Reach Out To A Criminal Defense Attorney
If you have been charged with possession of a controlled substance, you likely just want to move on with your life. An experienced criminal defense attorney like Kermit A. Monge can represent you and your case by examining the available evidence to craft the most effective defense possible.