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How does Virginia classify different drugs?

If you're accused of a drug crime, you need to understand the kind of charges you could face. The charges you'll face are partly based on the kind of drug you're in possession of and its potential to cause addiction.

Virginia classifies drugs in its Drug Control Act by their schedules. There are six schedules.

How are drugs classified in Virginia?

Schedule I drugs are the most likely to be abused and have no medical use accepted by the state. Some drugs in this group include LSD and heroin.

Comparatively, Schedule II drugs have a high risk of dependency and abuse, but they do have some medical uses. Since that's the case, some people may be in possession of these drugs by prescription. Some drugs in this classification include cocaine, methamphetamine and methadone.

Schedule III drugs are less likely to be abused than Schedule II drugs. These include drugs such as codeine and anabolic steroids. They have medical purposes but could lead to moderate dependency.

Schedule IV drugs include prescription medication such as benzodiazepines. Xanax, sedatives, tranquilizers and similar medications fall into this group.

Schedule V drugs are still limited, but they may be available over the counter. These could include cough medicines with codeine, for instance.

What should you do if you face a drug charge?

Know which drugs you had and where they fall in the above schedule. If you face a charge for a Schedule V drug, it's not likely to be as severe as a charge for a Schedule I drug. Your attorney can help you understand how serious your situation is, so you can defend yourself appropriately.

Source: Virginia.Gov, "Drugs – Overview," accessed Sep. 19, 2017

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