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How Does Virginia Classify Substances For Drug Crimes?

DrugCrime4

Drug crimes under Virginia law are not created as equals. Depending on the type of drug in question — referred to legally as controlled substances — charges for possession or distribution crimes can vary wildly. The penalties for drug crimes involving more dangerous substances like heroin or cocaine are more severe than offenses involving prescription drugs.

The Virginia Board of Pharmacy (the “Board”) administers six different schedules of controlled substances. But for the purposes of this article, the focus will remain on Schedules I-IV, as those substances are the most dangerous and, thus, heavily regulated.

What is a Schedule I Controlled Substance?

Code of Virginia Section 54.1-3445 explains the rationale for classifying a substance under Schedule I. The Board will place a substance in Schedule I if:

  • The substance has a high likelihood of abuse; and
  • The substance does not have accepted medical use in the United States or lacks safety for use under medical supervision.

Code of Virginia Section 54.1-3446 provides a list of controlled substances classified under Schedule I, which include but are not limited to:

  • Heroin;
  • Lysergic acid diethylamide (LSD) (aka acid);
  • MDMA (aka ecstasy); and
  • Gamma hydroxybutyrate (GHB).

What is a Schedule II Controlled Substance?

Code of Virginia Section 54.1-3447 explains the rationale for classifying a substance under Schedule II. The Board will place a substance in Schedule II if:

  • The substance has a high likelihood of abuse;
  • The substance has accepted medical use in the United States, with or without severe restrictions; and
  • If abused, the substance may lead to severe mental or physical dependence.

Code of Virginia Section 54.1-3448 provides a list of controlled substances classified under Schedule II, which include but are not limited to:

  • Cocaine;
  • Methamphetamine (meth);
  • Phencyclidine (PCP);
  • Morphine; and
  • Methadone.

What is a Schedule III Controlled Substance?

Code of Virginia Section 54.1-3451 explains the rationale for classifying a substance under Schedule IV. The Board will place a substance in Schedule IV if:

  • The substance has a likelihood of abuse that is less than Schedule III substances;
  • The substance has accepted medical use in the United States; and
  • If abused, the substance may lead to limited physical or mental dependence in relation to Schedule III substances.

Code of Virginia Section 54.1-3452 provides a list of controlled substances classified under Schedule IV, which include but are not limited to:

  • Alprazolam (aka Xanax);
  • Diazepam (aka Valium); and
  • Flunitrazepam (aka Rohypnol).

Do You Need Legal Help?

If you need legal assistance with drug crimes in Virginia, it can be decidedly productive to consult a diligent Leesburg drug crimes lawyer. With many years of experience in criminal defense, the lawyers at Simms Showers LLP can help you fight back against charges for drug crimes and other offenses. If you need legal help with criminal defense, contact us today for a free initial consultation.

SOURCES:

law.lis.virginia.gov/vacode/title54.1/chapter34/section54.1-3445/

law.lis.virginia.gov/vacode/title54.1/chapter34/section54.1-3446/

law.lis.virginia.gov/vacode/title54.1/chapter34/section54.1-3447/

law.lis.virginia.gov/vacode/title54.1/chapter34/section54.1-3448/

law.lis.virginia.gov/vacode/title54.1/chapter34/section54.1-3449/

law.lis.virginia.gov/vacode/title54.1/chapter34/section54.1-3450/

law.lis.virginia.gov/vacode/title54.1/chapter34/section54.1-3451/

law.lis.virginia.gov/vacode/title54.1/chapter34/section54.1-3452/

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