Types of Drugs and the Penalties You’ll Face for Having Them

The police found marijuana in your vehicle when you were pulled over for speeding. You were arrested and charged with possession. In your opinion, marijuana is hardly even a drug—it’s even considered a medicine in some states—so how serious could the consequences be? In Virginia, the penalty you face depends on what type of drug was in your possession. The Commonwealth classifies types of drugs into six different “schedules,” with Schedule I being the most serious types of drugs and Schedule VI being the least.

The Penalties You’ll Face for Drug Possession

As you may imagine, crimes involving Schedule I drugs have harsher penalties than those involving Schedule VI drugs. However, all drug possession is illegal and can land you into serious trouble. The following is an overview:

  • Schedule I. Drugs that fall into this schedule have a high likelihood for abuse and have no accepted medical use, such as heroin or LSD. Possession of this drug can lead to imprisonment for one to 10 years, or confinement in jail for up to 12 months. You can also receive a fine up to $2,500, or both. Marijuana is classified as a Schedule I drug according to federal regulations, but has its own lesser penalty structure under Virginia law.
  • Schedule II. These drugs have a high potential of abuse, but have currently accepted medical uses. Drugs that fall into this schedule include cocaine, PCP, and methadone. Possession of this schedule can result in the same penalties as having Schedule I drugs.
  • Schedule III. These drugs have less potential for abuse and have medical uses. Examples include codeine and anabolic steroids. You can spend up to a year in jail and receive a fine of up to $2,500, or both, if found guilty.
  • Schedule IV. Valium, Xanax, and other tranquilizers are considered Schedule IV drugs. Illegal possession of these drugs can result in up to six months in jail and a fine of up to $1,000, or both.
  • Schedule V. Drugs that fall in this category have low potential for abuse and include cough medicine. Illegal possession of this schedule of drugs can lead to a fine of up to $500.
  • Schedule VI. Not actually “drugs” in the conventional sense, Schedule VI drugs include inhalants and other substances that are abused but are not actual drugs. You can face a fine of up to $250 if you are found abusing such a substance.

We Want to Help Defend Your Rights

The legal team of Tavss Fletcher wants to help you during this difficult time. Contact us today to learn how.

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