Under the Georgia Controlled Substances Act, narcotics and other drugs are grouped into categories known as “schedules” according to their risk for abuse and other factors. In categorizing drugs, the State of Georgia Board of Pharmacy looks at such factors as a drug’s medical use, its potential for abuse and the likelihood of dependency. The most serious drugs are the ones that have a high potential for abuse and dependency and no medical use. These drugs are categorized under Georgia law as Schedule I drugs. The least serious category of controlled substances consists of drugs that are categorized under Georgia law as Schedule V drugs. Schedule V drugs are approved for medical use and have a low risk of abuse or dependency.
What are controlled substances?
Controlled substances are both illegal drugs as well as prescription drugs. Schedule I drugs consist of illegal drugs that have no accepted medical use such as marijuana, LSD and heroin. Schedule II drugs consist of illegal drugs that may have a medical use such as cocaine, methamphetamine, methadone, morphine and phencyclidine (PCP). Schedule III drugs are approved for medical use and have a lower potential for abuse such as hydrocodone, codeine, some barbiturates and anabolic steroids. Schedule IV drugs have a low risk of abuse and are approved for medical use such as Xanax, diazepam, Talwin and Darvon. Finally, Schedule V drugs are approved for medical use and have the lowest likelihood of abuse such as low levels of ethyl morphine, codeine and opium.
What is the punishment for possession of a controlled substance?
In general, possession of a controlled substance is punishable with jail or prison time, fines, community service, drug counseling, probation and the suspension of your driver’s license. More specifically, punishment for possession of a controlled substance varies depending upon the facts and circumstances of your case as well as your prior criminal history. Additionally, possession of a Schedule I drug is punished more harshly than punishment of a less serious drug. Punishment is also dependent upon the amount of the drug in your possession. If you possess a large amount of a controlled substance you can be charged with possession with the intent to distribute which is punished more harshly than a simple possession charge.
If you’re facing a controlled substance drug charge, one of the skilled criminal defense attorneys at The Turner Firm can help. Call us today for a no-cost assessment of your case!