Understanding How Your Drug Charges Will Impact You
Being accused of drug charges can make you face serious, frightening, and life-changing ramifications. A person caught with illegal drugs or controlled substances is first arrested by the police and taken to jail. The individual then has to go through a series of court proceedings and trials. After the accused drug offender is convicted by the court, his/her sentence may involve cancellation of driver’s license, heavy fines, and long probation terms.
All that said, the accused drug offender will be given the opportunity to hire his/her own drug crime defense attorney. However, in order to work with a drug crime lawyer and get positive outcomes, you need to know and understand everything about drug charges and their impact.
How is the Severity of a Drug Charge Determined?
The severity of a particular drug offence is decided by analyzing a number of important factors. That said, the primary parameter that decides a drug charge’s severity is the kind of drug involved in the case. The legal system has scheduled the controlled drugs into six different categories on the basis of their severity. These schedules are discussed below:
- Schedule I
The legal system considers the drugs in Schedule I as the most severe ones. These drugs are likely to be involved in maximum cases of drug abuse. Some of the drugs listed under Schedule I are Heroin, MDMA, Crack Cocaine, and LSD.
A drug charge involving Schedule I drugs is termed a Class I felony charge and generally results in 3 to 8 months of imprisonment and hefty fines.
- Schedule II
The drugs in Schedule II are considered to be less severe by the legal system since they are believed to have certain health benefits. However, if abused, these drugs can also be very addictive. Some of the drugs listed under Schedule II are Cocaine, Methamphetamine, and Opium.
A drug charge involving Schedule II drugs is termed a Class I Misdemeanor. Such charges generally result in 6 to 12 months of imprisonment and hefty fines.
- Schedule III
The drugs in Schedule III are considered to be less severe by the legal system since they have certain health benefits. However, these drugs can certainly be addictive. Some of the drugs listed under Schedule III are barbiturates, anabolic steroids, and ketamine.
A drug charge involving Schedule III drugs is termed a Class I Misdemeanor. Such charges generally result in 6 to 12 months of imprisonment and hefty fines.
- Schedule IV
The drugs in Schedule IV come with clear medical properties and very less chances of abuse. Some of the drugs listed under Schedule IV are Rohypnol, Xanax, and Valium.
A drug charge involving Schedule IV drugs is termed a Class I Misdemeanor. Such charges generally result in 6 to 12 months of imprisonment and hefty fines.
- Schedule V
The drugs under Schedule V category come with lesser chances for abuse and addiction in comparison to the drugs in Schedule VI. These drugs have proven medical benefits. An example of drugs listed under Schedule V is the Codeine cough syrup.
A drug charge involving Schedule V drugs is termed a Class II Misdemeanor. Such charges generally result in 30 days of imprisonment and additional fines.
- Schedule VI
Although they do not have any medical benefits, yet the drugs in Schedule VI come with lesser severity. An example of drugs listed under Schedule VI is Marijuana. Although this categorization is facing more and more challenges owing to the increase of the popular medical marijuana, yet the law does not consider this drug to have any proven medical properties at the present.
A drug charge involving Schedule VI drugs is termed a Class III Misdemeanor. Such charges generally result in 30 days of imprisonment.
What are the Different Types of Drug Charges?
In general, drug charges are based upon the Schedule of CDS involved in the case. Commonly, drug charges are of two types – Misdemeanor and Felonies. A common CDS misdemeanor is Misdemeanor Possession. Some common CDS felonies include:
Class H felony – Distribution of Schedule V, IV, or III drugs and manufacture of Schedule I or II drugs
Class G felony – Distribution of Schedule I or II drugs
Class I felony – Manufacture of Schedule III, IV, or V drugs
Class C felony – Manufacture of Methamphetamine
The Final Words
Drug charges can lead to serious legal consequences. Such convictions can disrupt the normal course of your life by adversely affecting your work and family life. These charges can affect your employment opportunities, loan eligibility, and even child custody.
If this discussion has made you understand the complexities that drug charges can put you in, consider hiring a skilled drug crime defense attorney to prepare yourself for the upcoming challenges. An experienced drug crime lawyer in Cobb County can help you know your legal rights and protect your future from drug convictions.