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Controlled Substances Act is relevant when facing drug charges

The arrest of a Louisiana resident for a drug crime may necessitate a quick education in the relevant legal language for a defendant and his or her family, as some of the terms may be unfamiliar. It is essential, however, to understand the legal terminology and how the law categorizes certain drugs.

When a person is charged with a drug crime such as drug trafficking or drug distribution, typically the drug at issue is what is known as a controlled substance. There are a number of different categories of controlled substances under the federal Controlled Substances Act. The Controlled Substances Act classifies drugs as Schedule I, II, III, IV or V drugs.

Controlled substances are classified by their propensity for abuse. Both Schedule I and Schedule II drugs are deemed to have a high potential for abuse. Schedule I drugs are not accepted for medical use, whereas Schedule II drugs, though they have a high potential for abuse, do have a currently accepted medical use in the United States. Schedule III drugs are those with a lower potential for abuse than Schedule I and II drugs. The levels of potential abuse decrease with Schedule IV and Scheduled V drugs, respectively.

There are numerous drugs identified as controlled substances. Some common examples of Schedule I drugs include heroin and certain drugs known as salts. Opium poppy and methadone are Schedule II drugs, and amphetamines are Schedule III drugs. Barbital is a Schedule IV controlled substance, and there are a number of drugs, including codeine, deemed to be Schedule V controlled substances when possessed in particular quantities.

If you or a loved one has been charged with a drug crime, it may be wise to seek legal counsel for guidance and to prepare a defense on your behalf. It is important not only to understand the intricacies of the Controlled Substances Act, but also the potential punishments and defenses associated with the different schedules of drugs.

Source: FindLaw, "21 U.S.C. Sec. 812," accessed Dec. 18, 2015

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