Whether you have been charged with Possession of a Controlled Substance or you are looking for more information about the scheduling system for drugs, you are doing the right thing by staying informed. Understanding how substances are categorized can help you or someone you love if they are charged with a drug possession charge.
Classifications Of Controlled Substances
In order to create a standard process for assigning severity to drug possession charges, the Drug Enforcement Agency created a classification system. Controlled substances are placed into a tier based upon a number of factors, including how addictive the substance is, the degree to which it causes physical or mental harm and whether it has additional medical benefits beyond the addictive properties.
Substances ranked highest on the schedule will carry the heaviest penalties for possession and are considered felonies, while those lower on the schedule are classed as misdemeanors instead.
Schedule 1 & 2 Controlled Substances
The top of the schedule, Schedule 1 Controlled Substances and Schedule 2 Controlled Substances, are the most addictive substances. Schedule 1 substances have no medical use and are never prescribed by healthcare professionals or used to treat conditions. These drugs include heroin, LSD and ecstasy, among others. They are not safe to use even under medical supervision, and the potential for abuse is high.
Schedule 2 substances are slightly more varied; some do have medicinal uses. However, possession of these drugs is a felony, absent a prescription.
Types Of Schedule 2 Controlled Substances
Schedule 2 controlled substances have a high potential to be abused, and they can have a significant negative impact on both physical and mental health. They tend to create strong dependence, which is why they are ranked so highly on the schedule and are a felony offense. Drugs in the Schedule 2 category are considered dangerous, which is why they are never administered or prescribed without the supervision of a medical professional.
Dangerous & Addictive Substances
Schedule 2 controlled substances are highly addictive, even though they have a purpose in medical treatments. One of the most commonly abused drugs in this category is OxyContin, a strong pain blocker used to treat severe and consistent pain. This type of drug may also appear as Percocet.
Some Are Prescribed By Doctors
Unlike Schedule 1 substances, for which there is no medical use, many Schedule 2 drugs are used regularly in the medical field. These drugs must be administered by a doctor or prescribed sparingly due to their high potential for abuse and addiction. Narcotics in this category that may be prescribed by a doctor include: hydromorphone (Dilaudid), methadone (Dolophine), meperidine (Demerol) and fentanyl (Sublimaze or Duragesic).
Other substances in this category that are more widely recognized include: amphetamine (Adderall®), methamphetamine (Desoxyn) and methylphenidate (Ritalin).
Non-Medical Drugs In This Category
Not all the substances in Schedule 2 are used in the medical field. Phencyclidine, which is more commonly referred to as PCP or Angel Dust, is included in Schedule 2 and was discontinued for medical use after its severe neurotoxic attributes were discovered. Cocaine is also a Schedule 2 substance.
Penalties For Possession Of Schedule 2 Controlled Substances In Virginia
Possession of a Schedule 2 drug is a felony, which means that it carries stricter punishments than Schedule 3 and below misdemeanors. If you are charged with possession of a Schedule 2 controlled substance in Virginia, you may face a substantial fine, prison time or both. Fines can reach as high as $2,500 and the jail sentence can be up to 10 years. However, if this is your first charge, working with a skilled attorney can help you achieve a lesser sentence or have your case dismissed entirely.
Some states offer a first time offender program that reduces the severity of your punishment if you agree to submit to random drug tests, temporarily lose your license, participate in drug education and perform community service. A reputable attorney will fully understand the options available to you based on your jurisdiction and specific details of your situation.
Work With A Fairfax Criminal Defense Attorney
If you or someone you know has been charged with Possession of a Schedule 2 Controlled Substance, the next step is to contact a skilled criminal defense attorney. An attorney’s job is to advocate on your behalf to achieve the best outcome possible.
Depending upon the evidence available in your case, your legal counsel may be able to challenge the amount, type or ownership of the substance and secure a less stringent outcome in your case or have it dismissed altogether. Reach out to one of the experienced criminal defense attorneys at The Law Offices of Kermit A. Monge today by calling 703.273.5500 or requesting a consultation online.