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How are drugs classified in Virginia?

On Behalf of | Mar 21, 2024 | Drug Crimes

Drugs are classified as schedules under the Controlled Substance Act. Schedules determine a drug’s tendency to lead to addiction and its medical usage

Being in possession of an illegal substance can lead to a drug possession charge. The schedule of a drug can determine a defendant’s penalties. Here’s what you should know:

Why schedules matter during criminal drug possession cases 

Many states are not as tough on drug convictions as Virginia is. A criminal conviction for drug possession in Virginia carries severe penalties. Here’s what you should know about each:

  • Schedule I: Drug possession of substances such as LSD and heroin are considered a Class 5 felony with up to 10 years incarceration and $2,500 in fines. These drugs have the highest form of abuse and almost no medical uses.
  • Schedule II: Drugs like morphine, PCP and cocaine have very few medical uses. Being caught in possession of a schedule II drug is also considered a Class 5 felony. This charge carries up to 10 years in prison and $2,500 in fines.
  • Schedule III: Being caught with schedule III drugs, such as steroids and testosterone, can lead to 12 months in jail and $2,500 in fines under a Class 1 misdemeanor. These drugs have several medical uses and can be prescribed by doctors, but can lead to abuse. 
  • Schedule IV: Certain Schedule IV drugs can be bought over the counter or with a prescription. Illegal possession of Schedule IV drugs can lead to a Class 2 misdemeanor and $1,000 in fines.
  • Schedule V: Drugs, such as cold medicine, that are illegally used or obtained can lead to a Class 3 misdemeanor and up to $500 in fines. 
  • Schedule VI: Possession of substances or materials that aren’t considered drugs, but can be used like drugs may be considered Schedule VI drugs, which carries a Class 4 misdemeanor conviction and $250 in fines. 

Knowing how to defend during a criminal trial can greatly affect the outcome of a case. You can learn more about your legal defense options by reaching out for help.