Florida readers know that prescription drug abuse is a widespread problem, both in the state and across the country. As a result, law enforcement is working hard to curtail the improper use and illegal distribution of prescription drugs, and crimes associated with prescription fraud or abuse can come with steep penalties if convicted.
If you are facing criminal charges associated with the misuse, trafficking or improper use of prescription drugs or prescription fraud, you would be wise to act quickly to build a strong defense. The severity of the penalties you are facing depends on the nature of your individual case, including the type of drug and its classification.
Penalties and drug classifications
Naturally, the more severe the crime, the more severe the potential penalties if convicted. This is applicable for drug crimes as well. If you are facing drug charges of any kind, it is helpful to understand the classification of the drugs pertaining to your case and how it could impact your future. The Controlled Substances Act classifies many drugs into various categories, which include the following:
- Schedule V: This is the least severe of the classifications, and the drugs in this category have a low chance for dependence. Schedule V drugs are typically those with medical purposes, such as prescription cough medicines.
- Schedule IV: Schedule IV drugs have a low potential for dependence, but it is possible. This classification includes drugs with some medicinal purposes, such as Valium, Xanax and Ambien.
- Schedule III: Drugs in this category have acceptable medical uses, but they also come with a moderate potential for abuse and dependence. This includes steroids, ketamine and more.
- Schedule II: These drugs have a higher potential for abuse, but they do have some medical purposes. They include morphine, Adderall and more.
- Schedule I: This classification includes highly addictive drugs with no currently accepted medical uses. It includes ecstasy and heroin.
The type of drug in question could have a direct impact on the severity of your case, yet no matter the details of your individual situation, you have the right to confront any of the charges against you.
Fighting back against drug charges
Drug charges are always serious, and you would be wise to take your situation seriously. You can build a strong defense, starting by simply reaching out for assistance and an explanation of your defense options. No matter the classification of the drugs or the nature of the case against you, you can fight back and seek to preserve your interests.