Pennsylvania utilizes a drug classification system - resembling Controlled Substance Act - to aid in prosecuting drug offenders. This is why it's important for people charged with drug crimes to be familiar with the state's system and its approach to these offenses. For the purposes of this article, we will address (1) the drug classification system in Pennsylvania, (2) the drugs that are categorized under drug schedule 5, and (3) the legal ramifications imposed upon defendants convicted of drug crimes.
Drug Classifications in Pennsylvania
Pennsylvania uses a drug's classification to determine the severity of the potential penalties an alleged perpetrator will face in lieu of a drug conviction. Government regulated drugs are categorized into five schedules in order to dictate the degree of harm a drug is to users. In this drug classification system, schedule 1 drugs are considered the most dangerous substances, while schedule 5 drugs are deemed less dangerous. To decide if where a potentially dangerous drug belongs on the schedule, the government will assess a number of factors. These factors include (but are not limited to):
- The drug's potential risk to public health
- The effects of long-term usage
- The state of the scientific research available for the drug
- The drug's relative or actual potential for the abuse
- Whether or not the substance is a gateway drug (leads to the use of another illegal substance)
- The drug's overall popularity and accessibility etc.
Schedule 5 Drugs
Schedule 5 drugs have a very low potential for abuse, similar to the drugs in schedule 4. Controlled substances in this schedule all have widely accepted medicinal use in the United States. When these drugs are abused, users experience very limited physical and psychological dependence.
Some schedule 5 drugs include:
- Ezogabine etc.
Although schedule 5 drugs have the least potential for addiction and abuse, it doesn't mean that they're charged on a less consequential scale than more potent and dangerous drugs. Law enforcement still takes crimes involving schedule 5 drugs very seriously.
A large number of the people arrested for drug crimes are charged with simple possession. This offense is charged as a misdemeanor, but it still carries pretty serious penalties. People charged with the possession with the intent to deliver (PWID), will be facing felony criminal charges. The legal ramifications for a conviction of this nature consist of costly fines and a sentence of imprisonment for several years, even for a first-time offense.
Pennsylvania Criminal Defense Attorney
If you've been charged with a crime involving a controlled substances, it's crucial that you get in contact with a criminal defense attorney. An attorney will be able to assess your case and weigh the legal options based on your circumstances. Skilled legal professional Joseph D. Lento has successfully reduced the sentence of clients who've acquired drug charges, and has even managed to get some of his client's cases dismissed. He can do the same for you. Contact him today.