Understanding drug schedules and charges

Drug charges are always serious legal matters in New Jersey, and the courts view possession or trafficking of certain drugs as a priority. Each drug is categorized in a particular schedule ranging from I-V with a Schedule I drug being the most restricted and highest priority in sentencing. However, those who are charged with trafficking and distribution are in a much more precarious situation than those charged with simple possession even for a Schedule V substance.

Schedule I

The highest drug classification according to the Federal Drug Enforcement Administration is Schedule I. These are supposedly chemicals that are highly addictive and have no particular medical application. One example of a Schedule I drug is heroin. However, marijuana is also classified as a Schedule I drug even though it is becoming widely accepted as non-addictive with specific medical effectiveness. Be that as it may, drug charges for trafficking in marijuana can still result in major jail sentences and fines.

Schedule II

A Schedule II drug charge is slightly less serious when drug trafficking charges are filed, but punishment can still be very harsh. They are chemicals that are highly addictive according to the FDEA but do have some medical use for certain conditions.

Schedule III

Schedule III substances are considered to have a very low likelihood of the user developing an addiction. Additionally, they also have moderate application as a medicine, but could also create a minor dependency for some users.

Schedule IV and V

Schedule IV and V drugs are the lowest in priority on the scale. They are considered safe drugs for the most part with no particular indication of dependency for users.

Anyone charged with illegally trafficking of even lower scheduled drugs still face significant punishment when convicted. Maximum penalties can always be requested by prosecutors in specific cases, which are also significant drug charge punishments even with the lower classification.

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