Understanding Controlled Substances and Their Classes

Any drug whose manufacturing and use is regulated by the government is classified as a controlled substance. The Controlled Substances Act took these federally regulated substances and classified them into five different categories, also known as classes or schedules. All controlled substances are regulated due to their potential for abuse.

Florida law heavily regulates the five controlled substance classes and being caught in possession of any can lead to a conviction and serious consequences. If you or a family member have been charged with selling, manufacturing, possessing, or delivering any controlled substance, it is vital you reach out to a knowledgeable Florida criminal defense attorney as soon as possible. 

What Are the 5 Controlled Substances Classes? 

Chapter 893 of the Florida Statutes lists the five controlled substance classes, from Schedule I to Schedule V. Substances have been categorized based on their currently accepted medical usage in the United States, as well as their risk for abuse and the likelihood of dependence or addiction when being illicitly used. Ranging from most severe to least, the five controlled substances classes include the following:

Schedule I

Schedule I is the most severe class of controlled substances. These drugs currently have no known medical purpose in the United States and have a high risk of abuse when used illegally. Examples of current controlled substances include heroin, LSD, marijuana, peyote, methaqualone, and ecstasy. 

Excluding marijuana, possession of any of these substances will result in a felony charge. 

Schedule II

Controlled substances listed under Schedule II have a high risk of abuse and dependence when used. Consumption may lead to severe physical or psychological damage. Examples of substances include methadone, oxycodone, fentanyl, methamphetamine, glutethimide, and other narcotics. 

Substances in Schedule II have an accepted medical use, but it is highly restricted.  

Schedule III

Schedule III drugs have an accepted medical use with less chance of dependence and abuse, but there still exists the possibility of low physical dependence and high psychological dependence. 

Ketamine, benzphetamine, and other narcotics containing more than 90 mg of codeine per dosage are considered to be categorized as Schedule III.

Schedule IV

Xanax, Klonopin, and Valium are all examples of Schedule IV substances. If you have currently been prescribed any of these and are taking your prescribed dosage, you do not need to have any concerns about possession. However, if you are taking somebody else’s prescription or distributing your dosage to others, you will be charged with distribution or trafficking. 

Schedule V

Schedule V drugs have the lowest potential for abuse or for developing a substance abuse disorder. Cough medicines with under 200 mg of codeine per 100 ml are considered Schedule V. Despite the low risk for abuse or physical or psychological dependence, Schedule V substances are still illegal to distribute, sell, or traffic. 

Speak With a Prestigious Drug Crime Attorney Today

Being charged with a drug crime is something to take very seriously, and it is vital you reach out to a criminal defense attorney as soon as possible. Being convicted for possession of a controlled substance can severely impact your future, ranging from your ability to get a job, maintain your driver’s license, and more. Fighter Law will fight diligently to protect your future, utilizing our 10+ years of experience in the Orlando area to get you the best possible scenario for your case. 

Our team is composed of board-certified criminal defense attorneys and paralegals that are ready to give it their all and use their experience on your case. For a free consultation, give our office a call at (407) 344-4837 or use our online contact form. Let us fight for you.


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