How does federal law classify controlled substances?

Not all drug crimes in Texas look the same. When it comes to crimes involving controlled substances, the severity of the charge depends on what type of drug is at issue. Federal law classifies illegal drugs into one of five schedules. The following is a brief overview of these schedules.

Schedule I drugs

Schedule I drugs are those that have a high risk of abuse and have no acceptable medical use. Heroin, crack cocaine, LSD and PCP are considered Schedule I drugs. While Texas has separate laws regarding marijuana, under federal law marijuana is also a Schedule I drug.

Schedule II drugs

Schedule II drugs are those that have a high risk of abuse, but also have an acceptable medical use. The use of Schedule II drugs can lead to severe psychological or physical dependence. Some examples of Schedule II drugs are morphine, cocaine and oxycodone.

Schedule III, IV and V drugs

Schedule II, IV and V drugs have a risk of abuse that is less than Schedule II drugs and also have an acceptable medical use. Some examples of these drugs include acetaminophen with codeine, Valium and Xanax.

All drug charges are serious

It is easy to see how a Schedule I drug will have harsher penalties than a Schedule V drug due to the nature of the substance. However, any drug charges are serious, and could lead to jail time, fines and a criminal record. Therefore, those facing drug charges will want to seek the assistance needed to craft a solid criminal defense strategy.