Drug Schedules in Virginia Beach

A controlled dangerous substance in Virginia is a substance that is illegal and listed under the Drug Control Act of Virginia, Section 54, that lists drugs that are categorically illegal or prescription medications that can be used illegally.

The Drug Control Act mirrors the federal statutes, but some of Virginia’s definitions and penalties differ from other states.  Maryland, for instance, has different categories that treat cocaine and marijuana differently than Virginia. Therefore, it is important to contact a drug lawyer to determine the particular categorization of controlled dangerous substances in Virginia Beach.

Scheduling Drugs

The categorization of controlled dangerous substances in Virginia is specific.

  • Schedule I refers to drugs like heroin and ecstasy, and are generally opiates that are illegal under all circumstances.
  • Schedule II refers to drugs like cocaine, methamphetamines, and other stimulants. Schedule II drugs originate off of vegetable extract, whereas Schedule I drugs are certain types of opiates and other derivatives of those. Both sections are equally ripe for abuse and are categorized as such controlled dangerous substances in Virginia.
  • Schedule III drugs are barbiturates and prescription painkillers like hydrocodone. A lot of those drugs are legal with a doctor’s prescription. However, people will forge prescriptions or use them outside of their prescriptions to possibly sell to other people. Individuals who have valid prescriptions will sell them to people who do not have valid prescriptions, which is illegal. Schedule III drugs have more medical viability than I and II, because the latter are not used medically or are prescribed by doctors. For example, hydrocodone is a very powerful painkiller.
  • Schedule IV drugs are prescriptions like antidepressants and Xanax or Rohypnol. Usually, these depressants affect the central nervous system. These are drugs that have valid medical uses. Doctors can prescribe them. They tend to not have the same effect as some of the Schedule I and II drugs in terms of devastation on the body, but they still, when used in high doses, can cause significant problems and do have the potential for abuse.
  • Schedule V drugs are drugs like over-the-counter cough medicine which contains codeine. These are fairly common to get. A lot of them do not require a prescription. Narcotic drugs are not exceptionally strong especially compared to the other drugs.

Prescription Medication

Virginia has limited legal exceptions for medical marijuana at the moment. Further, if an individual has a prescription for certain medications, they are allowed to legally interact with those drugs under those situations.

Drugs that are medically approved but abused are listed on a separate schedule, but are still criminalized the same. There are certain prescription drug statutes that allow for different penalties that are not necessarily penalized as harshly, but are still considered illegal and can lead to felony convictions.

Dangerous Drugs

Drugs like cocaine, heroin, and fentanyl are often penalized more harshly than others. They are the three most commonly abused drugs and typically have higher penalties.

These drugs are prosecuted more severely because they tend to be more harmful to a person. They are easier to abuse, and people who are either using those drugs or have an addiction to those drugs tend to commit crimes either while they are using them.

Potential for Addiction

All drugs within the various categories of controlled dangerous substances in Virginia have the potential for addiction. However, schedule III drugs have valid legal purposes which is why they are treated differently than cocaine and heroin which have no legal use in Virginia.

Role in Sentencing

The particular categorization of controlled dangerous substances in Virginia determine the penalties associated with the charge. Schedule V drugs carry penalties of fine and citations. A Schedule IV drug, such as prescription drugs, antidepressants, and tranquilizers, are considered Class 2 misdemeanors. Those penalties carry up to six months in jail.

For Schedule III drugs like hydrocodone and other pain medications, they are Class 1 misdemeanors. Those carry up to 12 months in jail. Then, the penalties for Schedule I and II drugs are classified felonies. Those carry penalties between one to ten years.