When law enforcement charges someone with possession of controlled substances or the intent to sell them, they will determine the penalties by consulting the drug schedule. The schedule organizes substances by their intended medical use, as well as how likely they are to be abused, how commonly they result in dependency, and if they are possessed legitimately.
Schedule 5 controlled substances have a low likelihood of physical and psychological dependency, though they are not the lowest ranked drugs on the schedule.
Types Of Schedule 5 Controlled Substances
Schedule 5 controlled substances are typically those that contain low levels of narcotics, most commonly used to treat diarrhea or pain. This category also includes medicines with low doses of codeine, like some forms of Tylenol. Robitussin also contains codeine and so fits into this category alongside medicines like Motofen and Lyrica.
Schedule 5 Possession Penalties In Virginia
Simple possession of a schedule 5 controlled substance is classified as a Class 3 misdemeanor carrying a fine of up to $250. However, first time offenders may be eligible for a drug diversion program in which charges can be deferred until the end of the program if the person agrees to, among many other options, receive a suspension or restriction on their driver’s license, undergo substance abuse treatment, or perform community service.
Schedule 5 Selling or Intending To Sell Penalties
The penalties for selling or intending to sell controlled substances differ from simple possession charges, because the crimes are considered separate and individual. It is possible for a person to be charged with both possession and intent to distribute, but the presence or proximity of a controlled substance is not required in order for someone to be found guilty of intent to distribute drugs.
Intent to distribute a schedule 5 substance is a Class 1 misdemeanor but is typically punished more stringently than simple possession (which is also a misdemeanor), with both jail time and fines as a possibility. Prison sentences may range up to one year, and the fine may be as high as $2500.
Criminal Defense For Possession
An accusation of possession or distribution of schedule 5 controlled substances does not automatically mean that you will have to serve prison time or pay a fine. An experienced criminal defense lawyer can assist you in reducing or even eliminating charges.
It may be possible to provide enough reasonable doubt that you either did not know you possessed the substance or did not know what it was. Similarly, a preexisting prescription from a doctor for a substance is automatically a defense to drug possession charges.
Reach Out To A Criminal Defense Attorney
An experienced Fairfax criminal defense attorney should be your first stop after an accusation or charge of drug possession or distribution. The Law Offices of Kermit A. Monge would be happy to fight for you and provide you with the best possible outcome in your case, given the totality of the evidence both for and against you.