Drug Defenses and Schedule Classification Explained by a Virginia Criminal Defense Lawyer.
In Virginia, all narcotic cases are treated seriously; however, the manufacturing, distribution and transportation of Schedule I, II, III, IV, or V controlled substances are the most serious of any Northern Virginia drug crime. Drug possession penalties are based on the schedule or drug classification.
Schedule I: LSD, GHB, Ecstasy, or Heroin carry a Class 5 felony with fines up to $2,500 and a prison term of up to 10 years.
Schedule II: Crystal Meth, Cocaine, PCP, Morphine, Ritalin, and other stimulants carry a Class 5 felony, as well as a prison term of up to 10 years with fines of up to $2,500.
Schedule III: Codeine and Hydrocodone (Vicodin, Dolacet, Lorcet) with aspirin or Tylenol, Anabolic steroids, Special K (ketamine) and other depressants and barbiturates are considered a Class 1 misdemeanor with fines of up to $2,500 and jail term of up to 12 months.
Schedule IV: Tranquilizers, several prescription drugs such as Valium, Xanax, Darvon, Ropypnol, Talwin, Equanil and others are considered a Class 2 misdemeanor with fines up to $1,000 and jail term up to 6 months.
Schedule V: Codeine based cough medicines are a Class 3 misdemeanor with fines of up to $5,000.
Drug possession with the intent to distribute, manufacture, or sell may carry greater penalties, depending on the specifics of the case. This is why it is important to talk with a skilled Virginia criminal defense attorney who understands that drug cases can be complex and knows what possible defenses to look for in your case, including:
Issues with the chain of custody of the drugs
Constitutional search and seizure issues
Witness credibility issues
And other issues
There may be more defenses available in your case, which is why you should call our experienced Virginia drug and criminal defense lawyers at the Wilson Law Firm who have experience handling criminal drug cases and understand how narcotics investigations and prosecutions proceed.
If you have been arrested for a drug crime in Northern Virginia, you can reach our Manassas, Virginia criminal defense lawyers today at (703) 361-6100 for a free legal consultation.