Schedule III and IV Drugs


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If you have been charged with illegally possessing or selling a Schedule III or IV Drug, you are facing repercussions that can negatively impact your life for years to come. You may be up against Pennsylvania’s mandatory minimum sentencing laws, and you may also face federal charges. As soon as you or a family member is charged, you will need to retain an experienced criminal defense attorney.

What You Need To Know About Schedule III or IV Drugs

The federal Controlled Substances Act divides drugs into five schedules or classifications. These categories are assigned based on the drugs’ addictive qualities and potential for abuse.

  • Schedule III drugs have potential for abuse that is less severe than Schedule I and II drugs. These substances include prescription drugs that have accepted medical use in the US.
  • Schedule III drugs include anabolic steroids, Tylenol with codeine, ketamine and Vicodin.
  • Schedule IV drugs have a lower abuse potential than Schedule III. These substances include prescription drugs that have accepted medical use in the US.
  • Schedule IV drugs include Ambien, Valium, Darvocet, Ativan and Xanax.

Selling Schedule III and IV Drugs
If you are charged with selling or intending to sell Schedule III or IV drugs, you run the risk of severe punishment.

  • If you are charged with selling a Schedule III drug, you are facing up to five years in prison and a fine up to $15,000.
  • If you are charged with selling a Schedule IV drug, you can face up to three years in prison and up to a $10,000 fine.
  • Additional penalties can be added based on the amount of drugs you are caught with, the weapons you have with you when you are arrested, where you were arrested (for example, if you were near a school) and your prior convictions.

Prescription Fraud

In Pennsylvania it is illegal to obtain prescription drugs, including those covered under Schedule III and IV, by fraud, forgery or deception.

If, for example, you steal a few pages from your doctor’s prescription pad and write yourself a fake prescription, you can be charged with prescription fraud and you will face penalties that include jail time.

What To Do If You Have Been Charged

If you are caught with drugs in your possession, it is important that you do not make any statements to the arresting officer about the drugs. Do not tell the officer who you believe the drug belongs to.

As with most criminal charges, you should not talk to the police or prosecutors without your attorney by your side. What you say can be taken out of context and used against you. If the police question you, tell them you want a lawyer and politely refuse to answer their questions.

What a PA Drug Defense Lawyer Can Do

Your attorney will carefully examine the alleged facts to first determine if there was probable cause to charge you lawfully.

  • If you were stopped in your car, your defense attorney will find out if there was probable cause to pull you over and to search you and the vehicle. We will look for ways to have any evidence suppressed.
  • Your lawyer will see if there are ways to show that the amount of drugs that were with you at the time of your arrest were for personal use only.
  • If the drugs belonged to someone else, your attorney will try to find proof that they were not yours.

How A Lawyer Will Help

When you are up against a Schedule III or IV drug charge, you will be facing inflexible laws and a determined prosecutor. You will need an attorney who can help you determine all of your options and achieve the best outcome for your circumstances.

Pennsylvania Schedule III and IV Drug Law

Schedule III and IV drug charges are described and defined under The Pennsylvania Code under Title 35 Chapter 6. Read the code here.

Questions? Contact us today.

If at all possible, Fienman Defense will try to get the charges against you dismissed or see if a drug treatment program would be right for your situation. Based on the evidence and the constraints of mandatory sentencing, we will work hard to get your penalties lowered. And if your case goes to court, Fienman Defense will fight to win an acquittal.