Understanding the Drug Schedules in Washington DC and What Constitutes a Drug Crime

According to the law in Washington D.C., there are five different schedules of drugs. The schedules are created and setup based on two criteria. These are the criteria that determine whether or not a person is charged with a drug crime and include:

1. The possibility of abuse or addiction of a certain drug

2. The existing medical use of the drug (whether or not the drug has a medical use that has been accepted by the scientific community)

Schedule 1 Drugs and Drug Crime Potential

A schedule 1 drug is anything that is extremely addictive or that has a high potential of being abused. This type of drug is also one that has no known medical use. A common example of a schedule 1 drug is heroin.

drug crime

Possession of a schedule 1 drug is punishable by up to 180 days in jail, a $1,000 fine, or both. If you are caught selling a schedule 1 drug that is considered to be an abusive drug or narcotic, it is punishable by 30 years in prison, $75,000 fine or both.

Schedule 2 Drugs

Any controlled substance with a high potential for abuse that may lead to dependence but that has an acceptable medical value and used for treatment, but is severely restricted are classified as a schedule 2 drug. A common example of schedule 2 drugs is cocaine.

If you are charged with possession of a schedule 2 drug, you may spend up to 180 days in jail and face a $1,000 fine. If you are caught selling this schedule of drug you face 30 years in prison and/or a fine of $75,000.

Schedule 3 Drugs

A controlled substance that has the potential of being abused that leads to a moderate or low physical dependence and a high psychological dependence, but also has a medical use is considered a schedule 3 drug. A common example is anabolic steroids.

Drug crimes involving schedule 3 drugs are punishable by $1000 fine and/or 180 days in jail. Selling this drug is punishable by up to five years in prison and a fine of $12,500.

Schedule 4 Drugs

Controlled substances that have low possibility for abuse and the same factors as the above schedule 3 drugs is considered a schedule 4 drug. A common example of this schedule of drug is Xanax.

Possession carries 180 days in jail and a fine of $1,000 and selling this schedule of drug may result in three years in prison and a fine of $12,500.

Schedule 5 Drugs

If a controlled substance has a low possibility of abuse that may result in limited psychological or physical dependence, and it has an acceptable medical use, it is a schedule 5 drugs. A common example of a schedule 5 drug is codeine.

Possession of this drug carries a sentence of up to 180 days in jail and a fine of $1,000 and selling it may result in a year in prison and/or a fine of $2,500.

If you are facing drug crime charges, contact our team of criminal attorneys at The McDaniel Law Group, PLLC by calling 202-331-0793.

Additional Reading

3 Common Drug Arrests in D.C.

What to Know About Illegal Search and Seizures in Drug Arrests