In simple terms, a controlled substance is a drug that cannot be possessed legally without a prescription. Prescriptions cannot be written in Texas for some controlled substances (such as marijuana), making those controlled substances illegal to possess under any circumstances, and making it important a Lubbock drug lawyer is contacted for those that are accused.  However, not all drugs are controlled substances.

Over-the-counter medications, for instance, are not controlled substances. Certain “dangerous drugs” are regulated but are not classified as controlled substances. Alcohol is a drug, but the Texas legislature has prohibited alcohol from being defined as a controlled substance. To best understand how controlled substances are classified in Lubbock, consult with a knowledgeable attorney as soon as possible.

Drug Classifications

At the federal level, the Drug Enforcement Administration regulates controlled substances. The federal designation of a drug as a controlled substance is generally followed in Texas. The power to define controlled substances, for the purpose of Texas law, has been given to the Commissioner of Public Health. The Commissioner must publish the schedules of controlled substances annually but may only make changes to the schedules with the approval of the Texas Board of Health after a public hearing.

If the substance is considered a drug, it is going to be a controlled substance if it has the potential for creating an addictive issue, either mentally or physically. If the drug can foster an addiction, it will fall into one of the five drug schedules. The drug schedule in Lubbock is mostly similar to the federal drug schedule. It is only different in the realm of prescription drugs.

As is true of the federal controlled substances schedules, Texas divides drugs into five categories. Unlike federal law, Texas uses “penalty groups” to classify the penalties that apply to state drug crimes. The penalty groups and the controlled substances schedules are different things. It is important not to confuse one with the other.

Schedule I

The Commissioner is required to list a controlled substance in Schedule I if the substance has a high potential for abuse and either has no accepted medical use for treatment in the United States or cannot be used safely for treatment under medical supervision. Drugs as diverse as LSD, Ecstasy, and marijuana are represented in Schedule 1.

Schedule II

The Commissioner is required to list a controlled substance in Schedule II if the substance has a high potential for abuse, if abuse may lead to severe physical or psychological dependence on the drug, and if the drug has an accepted medical use.Cocaine, methamphetamine, and most narcotics are among the many drug in Schedule II.

Schedule III

The Commissioner is required to list a controlled substance in Schedule III if the substance has a potential for abuse that is less serious than the drugs listed in Schedules I and II, if abuse may lead to moderate physical dependence or high psychological dependence on the drug, and if the drug has an accepted medical use. Vicodin is an example of a Schedule III drug.

Schedule IV

The Commissioner is required to list a controlled substance in Schedule IV if the substance has a potential for abuse that is less serious than the drugs listed in Schedule III, if abuse may lead to more limited dependence than the drugs listed in Schedule III, and if the drug has an accepted medical use. Valium is an example of a Schedule IV drug.

Schedule V

The Commissioner is required to list a controlled substance in Schedule V if it has less potential for abuse and dependence than the drugs listed in Schedule IV and if the drug has an accepted medical use. Cough suppressants with very low concentrations of codeine, such as Robitussin AC, are typical of Schedule V drugs.

Controlled Substances Penalties

Texas does not have as strict of a mandatory minimum sentence for a drug charge as the federal government does. Some of the punishment ranges are for a state jail felony, which carries a minimum of six months to two years in jail.

If a person does not have a criminal history, they will be eligible for probation. It is only if the person is convicted and sent to jail that they will be facing any sort of mandatory minimums.

It is the citizen’s accused right to elect whether they will face trial by jury or a judge. Sometimes, an attorney will try a case to a jury, and if lost, will have the judge sentence the case. Other times, an attorney will elect to have the jury sentence their client depending on the facts of the case.

The penalties that apply to a Schedule I or Schedule II drug offense depend upon the drug, among other factors. If an individual has been arrested or is being prosecuted for a federal drug crime involving a drug that has not been discussed, it is important to contact a lawyer as soon as possible.

How a Lawyer Can Help

Federal controlled substances offenses are serious crimes that often carry drastic penalties. A strong defense in a federal drug case can only be provided by a criminal defense lawyer who is knowledgeable, experienced, aggressive, and committed to the protection of your rights. Make sure to call Hamilton Grant to talk to a Lubbock defense attorney about your case.