Under the Illinois Controlled Substances Act (720 ILCS 570), drugs-related crimes are directly linked to the classification of the drug involved. The more dangerous the drug, the harsher the criminal penalties. Drug classifications range from Schedule V, which are considered the least dangerous drugs, to Schedule I, which are considered the most dangerous drugs. Drugs classified in Schedule III, Schedule IV, and Schedule V controlled substances are distinct from other drugs because they have accepted medical uses. This means that, on some level, these controlled substances can be obtained legally.
You will face criminal charges if you possess Schedule III, Schedule IV, or Schedule V drugs without a prescription. These drugs may not be considered to be the most dangerous, but a conviction for a Schedule III, IV, or V drug violation can still have life-altering consequences. If you are facing drug charges in Chicago call Kostopoulos Law Group for immediate legal assistance.
Schedule III Drugs
Drugs are classified, in part, on their anticipated potential for abuse. Schedule III drugs have a lower level of potential abuse than Schedule II and Schedule I controlled substances. Drugs classified as Schedule III substances have accepted medical uses (often for euthanasia) and have been shown to put users at risk of physiological and/or psychological dependence. You can only legally possess Schedule III drugs when you have a lawful prescription or accepted lawful purpose.
Schedule III drugs include:
- Suboxone (buprenorphine);
- Didrex (benzphetamine);
- Ketamine; and
- Depo-Testosterone (anabolic steroids).
Schedule IV Drugs
Schedule IV drugs are considered to have a lower level of abuse than Schedule III, Schedule II, and Schedule I controlled substances. Schedule IV drugs are often distinct from other controlled substances because they have accepted medical uses, can be purchased legally, and include some of the most popular prescription drugs in the country. You can only legally possess and use Schedule IV drugs when you have a valid prescription from a medical professional.
Schedule IV drugs include:
- Xanax (alprazolam);
- Klonopin (clonazepam);
- Tranxene (clorazepate);
- Valium (diazepam);
- Ativan (lorazepam);
- Restoril (temazepam);
- Soma (carisoprodol);
- Versed (midazolam); and
- Halcion (triazolam).
Schedule V Drugs
Schedule V drugs are considered to have the lowest potential for abuse and addiction. These drugs have widely accepted medical uses and are generally “preparations containing limited quantities of certain narcotics.” For example, when a pharmacist prepares certain cough syrups they may use Codeine as an active ingredient to make the medicine more effective. So, many substances are only listed as Schedule V drugs because they have been mixed with addictive narcotics.
Schedule V drugs include:
- Prescriptions containing not more than 200 milligrams of codeine per 100 milliliters;
- Prescriptions containing not more than 200 milligrams of opium per 100 grams; and
Schedule III, IV, & V Drug Crime Penalties
Possession, distribution, or trafficking Schedule III, IV, or IV drugs without a prescription or license will likely result in felony criminal drug charges. When no aggravating factors are present, Schedule III, IV, and V drug crimes are generally charged as a Class 4 Felony, punishable by 1-3 years in prison. If aggravating factors are present the penalties can be even more severe. Aggravating factors can include:
- Possessing a controlled substance within 1,000 feet of a school; and
- Unlawful possession of a firearm.
If you are found in the possession of a particularly large quantity of drugs (more than is suitable for your own personal use), you can face criminal charges for possession with the intent to deliver. Charges for possession with the intent to deliver a Schedule IV drug can range from a Class 3 Felony to a Class X Felony.
If you are convicted on Schedule III, IV, or V drug charges in Chicago your criminal sentence may also include:
- $100,000 in criminal fines;
- Community service;
- Boot camp; and/or
- Mandatory drug treatment and counseling programs.
Fighting Schedule IV Drug Charges in Chicago
Have you been arrested on Schedule III, IV, or V drug charges in Chicago? You have the right to defend yourself, and the Kostopoulos Law Group can help. Our experienced Chicago drug crime attorneys will thoroughly investigate your alleged crime, determine if your rights have been violated, and assert any defense that supports your position. It is important to act quickly, so do not hesitate to call us today.