When you’ve been caught with an illegal substance, you aren’t automatically guaranteed the same punishment as other drug offenders. The penalty, which can include jail time and fines, depends on the type of drug schedule the substance falls into. There are five types total, and substances are divided into them based on their harmful effects. If you’ve been charged with a Schedule V drug, you’ll want to know what that means for your case. Here’s everything you need to know about Schedule V drugs.
Definition of Schedule V
Schedule V drugs are considered the least harmful of the five categories. (On the opposite end of the scale, Schedule I drugs are the worst, have zero medical benefit, and can cause major harm.) Schedule V drugs often have a medical purpose and are easy to obtain. They are the least likely to cause abuse in a user.
Drugs in the Schedule V Category
There is a wide variety of drugs that fall into Schedule V. They may include narcotics and are frequently used medically to help relieve a cough, alleviate diarrhea, and prevent pain. Specific types of Schedule V drugs include:
- Cough medicines
In some cases, you must have or be abusing a certain amount of these drugs to be considered an offender.
Penalties for Schedule V
Unlike the other four, Schedule V drugs are all treated with the same penalties and fines. If you are a first-time offender, you may receive up to a year in jail and up to $100,000 in fines (though this cost may be greater if you are not working alone). If you are caught with a second offense, you may land in jail for up to two years and receive a fine of up to $200,000. These numbers are not guaranteed, and you may receive far less than the maximum depending on circumstances. Just be prepared by knowing the worst possible outcome.
Abusers are not the only ones who can face jail time and fines after being caught in possession of drugs. In fact, people who abuse substances receive less severe punishments than those who sell, distribute or traffic the drugs themselves. These crimes have the potential for much greater time in prison and steeper fines.
If you have been caught with a Schedule V drug, consider contacting a lawyer, like a criminal defense lawyer from May Law, LLP. They can help you determine what to do next and possibly help lessen your sentence.