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When facing drug charges, what does Schedule I mean?

| Feb 5, 2019 | Criminal Defense |

Drugs and other substances were divided into five schedules by the federal Food and Drug Administration. The schedule of each drug reflects its potential for abuse, potential for dependency and whether it is used for medical reasons. When someone is arrested for drug charges in Texas, the charge specifies the schedule of the drug.

Schedule I and II drugs have a very high potential to be abused. They are both highly addictive, both physically and psychologically. The difference between the two is that while Schedule II drugs may be used for medical purposes, Schedule I drugs have no approved medical use and are considered recreational drugs only. Examples of Schedule I drugs include LSD, peyote and heroin. Examples of Schedule II drugs include cocaine, methadone and fentanyl.

Schedule III drugs are not as likely to be abused as Schedule I and II drugs. They have a moderate-to-low physical dependence; however, they still have a high psychological dependence. These drugs are used for medical purposes and include ketamine, anabolic steroids and testosterone.

Schedule IV drugs have a low risk of abuse or dependence, and Schedule V drugs have an even lower risk. Both are used for medical purposes. Schedule IV drugs include clonazepam, lorazepam and diazepam, among others. Schedule V drugs are mostly substances that contain a limited amount of specific narcotics. These would include various antidiarrheal medications, cough syrups and analgesic medicines.

Texas is known for having strict laws regarding drug possession. The penalty for conviction of drug charges can include fines, jail time, probation and more. There can also be lifelong consequences, including difficulty obtaining jobs and housing due to a haunting criminal record. Anyone facing drug charges should immediately seek the assistance of an experienced criminal defense attorney. With the help of a knowledgeable attorney, one can confront the charges he or she is facing armed with a well-developed defense that can help in seeking the most positive outcome possible.