Drug Schedules

Florida Drug Schedules

How Drug Laws Address Different Substances

In Florida, drugs are classified and placed into different categories based upon several factors. These categories primarily focus on each drug's potential for abuse and whether or not there are currently any accepted medical uses for the drug. Many of these Schedules mirror what is laid out in the Controlled Substances Act (CSA), enacted into law by Congress in 1970. On the federal level, the Drug Enforcement Administration and the Food and Drug Administration oversee this. On the state level, however, is it explained in Florida Statute §893.09.

Simple definitions of drug schedules in Florida are as follows:

Schedule I   
Florida Schedule I drugs include heroin, ecstasy, peyote, methaqualone, and more. These have a very high potential for abuse and no acceptable medical treatment. Even when used with medical supervision, there are no ways it could meet safety standards. Heavy-handed drug laws include marijuana as a Schedule I substance in Florida. While the state has taken steps to lessen penalties for marijuana, it remains illegal in the state.

Schedule II    
Florida Schedule II drugs include cocaine, meth, fentanyl, and Vicodin. While drugs classified in Schedule II have less potential for abuse than drugs in Schedule I, there is still the potential for heavy abuse. These drugs do have some accepted medical treatment in the United States. The use of the substance could lead to physical and psychological dependence, as well as physical harm. 

Schedule III    
Florida Schedule III drugs include codeine, ketamine, anabolic steroids, and testosterone. The potential for abuse with Schedule III drugs is far lower than the two above schedules. While there is an accepted medical use in the U.S., these drugs can still result in low to moderate physical and high psychological dependence. 

Schedule IV    
Drugs labeled as schedule IV in Florida include Ambien, Xanax, Tramadol, and Valium. Drugs placed in this schedule have a low potential for abuse, along with an accepted medicinal use. The physical and psychological dependence that may occur from the use of these drugs is limited.

Schedule V    
Florida Schedule v drugs include Lomotil, Parepectolin, and Motofen. The potential for abuse with Schedule V drugs is even lower than Schedule IV drugs. There are currently accepted medical uses for treatment in the United States, with limited potential for dependence. 

How Do Drug Schedules Affect My Case?

These classifications may have a profound impact on the overall outcome of your case. While the amount of the drugs will play a significant role in determining the overall penalties that you could potentially be facing, so will the schedule of the drug. For example, according to Florida Statute §893.13, it is considered a criminal offense to sell, deliver, or possess a controlled substance with the intention to sell it. Florida has penalties for crimes such as the possession, sale, manufacturing, trafficking, or purchasing of illegal drugs.

Schedule-Based Penalties for Drug Crimes in Florida

The penalties differ depending on the drug that is being possessed. The state treats drug crimes more seriously the closer they are to being a Schedule I substance. Additionally, penalties for Florida drug crimes might significantly increase depending on how much substance a person is charged with. If the drug is in Schedule V, the defendant could be facing a first-degree misdemeanor with penalties that include imprisonment for up to 1 year and a fine of up to $1,000. If the drug, however, was a Schedule I, it is considered a second-degree felony.

Serving Defendants in Tampa Since 2001

Due to the severity of the penalties surrounding a drug crime, it is exceedingly important you contact a Tampa drug crime lawyer immediately. Florida drug laws have earned notoriety for their harsh penalties. While some are advocating to change these laws, the best defense remains having the assistance of an experienced Florida drug crime firm such as Thomas & Paulk. With more than 40 years of collective experience, our attorneys are prepared to go above and beyond in our efforts to provide you with reliable legal assistance.

If you would like to learn more about our firm or the ways we can help you seek a just outcome, please do not hesitate to contact our team