Narcotic drugs are placed into five distinct categories based on severity and potential for abuse. This is called drug scheduling, and it is a part of both state drug laws and federal drug laws. The Florida state drug scheduling reflects the U.S. Controlled Substances Act. The Florida drug schedule is found in § 893.03 of the Florida statutes. Drug scheduling is important because the severity of drug charges and sentencing often depends, at least in part, on the schedule of drug. Drugs in the Schedule I category carry the most serious penalties, while drug crimes involving drugs in the Schedule V category are viewed as relatively minor offenses.
While this is not a comprehensive list, it is important to know some of the major drugs included in each schedule.
Schedule I Drugs:
All drugs that are listed as Schedule I have been determined to have a high potential for abuse/addiction and have no currently accepted medical use in the United States, with the exception of marijuana for medical use.
Schedule II Drugs:
The drugs listed in this category also have a very high potential for abuse/addiction, but some have recognized medical uses. Prescriptions for drugs in the Schedule II category are closely monitored.
Schedule III Drugs:
Drugs in this category are said to have a relatively low potential for abuse or psychological dependence. Still, possessing, selling, manufacturing or distributing drugs in this Schedule without a license is illegal.
Schedule IV Drugs:
Drugs in this category have a relatively low potential for addiction and typically fall into the prescription drug category. Many of these drugs act as antidepressants or sleep aids.
Schedule V Drugs:
Drugs in this category have a low potential for abuse and many do not even require a prescription to obtain. To purchase these drugs, an individual would likely only have to possess a valid driver's license or ID card.
Selling, manufacturing, delivering or possessing with the intent to commit any of these acts is a second degree felony if the drug offense involves certain Schedule I and Schedule II drugs. Some of the drugs that could warrant a second degree felony charge include heroin, GHB, codeine and methadone.
Selling, manufacturing, delivering or possessing with the intent to commit any of these acts is a third degree felony if the drug offense involved certain drugs from Schedules I through IV. These drugs could include cannabis, peyote, Parepectolin and anabolic steroids, for example. Schedule V drug offenses are typically charged as first degree misdemeanors.
First degree felony drug offenses typically involve drugs that fall under the Schedule I category, but not all Schedule I drug use constitutes a first degree felony charge. If you are arrested for selling, manufacturing, delivering, etc. more than ten grams of a drug listed under subsection A or B of the Schedule I category, you could face a first degree felony charge.
If you have been arrested for a drug offense, please do not hesitate to contact a Tampa drug crime lawyer from Taracks & Associates. The attorneys at our firm bring a collective 50 years of experience to the table, and have the ability to effectively represent you in court. By law, you are innocent until proven guilty. Choose our team of former prosecutors to fight to maintain your innocence. Call us for a free evaluation of your case today!