Pennsylvania’s Controlled Substance, Drug, Device and Cosmetic Act lists and categorizes all controlled substances in schedules. Each controlled substance is assigned a schedule based on its severity, how addictive the substance is and whether there is a known medical use for the drug. Pennsylvania law provides for five drug schedules, and each schedule carries a different set of penalties and standards. If you have been charged with a drug crime in Pennsylvania, you should contact an experienced criminal defense attorney as soon as possible. A criminal defense attorney can provide you with a detailed explanation of the penalties you face, including an assessment of various factors that impact sentencing, including the type of drug involved, its weight and related charges.
Pennsylvania Schedule of Controlled Substances
The five drug schedules under Pennsylvania law range from the most serious drugs (Schedule I) to the least serious (Schedule V).
- Schedule I drugs are rated for the highest potential for abuse and generally have no known medical use in the U.S. Pennsylvania Schedule I drugs include substances such as heroin, LSD, marijuana, and methaqualone.
- Schedule II drugs have a high potential for abuse, but they differ from Schedule I drugs in that they have a very limited currently accepted medical use in the U.S. or a currently accepted medical use with severe restrictions. Schedule II drugs include morphine, PCP, cocaine, methadone and methamphetamine.
- Schedule III drugs have less potential for abuse than the controlled substances previously listed and have a currently accepted medical use in treatment. Schedule III drugs in Pennsylvania include anabolic steroids, codeine and hydrocodone with aspirin.
- Schedule IV drugs have a low potential for abuse relative to the drugs previously listed and include substances such as Valium and Xanax. Many prescription drugs are included in this schedule.
- Schedule V drugs are rated for the lowest potential for dependency and are accepted for medical uses in the U.S. Schedule V drugs include medications such as cough syrups with small amounts of codeine.
Penalties for Drug Crimes in Pennsylvania
The following breakdown describes the penalties you may face under Pennsylvania law based on the drug at issue. Penalties may be increased if your charges involve distribution in a school zone or distribution to a minor. Additionally, there are mandatory minimum sentences under Pennsylvania law for certain drug crimes where the weight of the controlled substance involved exceeds a specified amount or if firearms were involved in the offense.
- Schedule I or Schedule II drugs: up to 15 years in prison and up to a $250,000 fine, or both.
- Cocaine and its derivatives, methampetamine (meth), phencyclidines (PCP), or marijuana in excess of 1,000 pounds: up to 10 years in prison and up to a $100,000 fine, or both.
- Schedule I, Schedule II, or Schedule III drug not mentioned above: up to 5 years in prison and up to a $15,000 fine, or both.
- Schedule IV drugs: up to 3 years in prison and up to a $10,000 fine, or both.
- Schedule V drugs: up to 1 year in prison and up to a $1,000 fine, or both.
Drug Trafficking Attorneys in Chester, Delaware, Montgomery and Philadelphia Counties
The Law Office of Kevin Mark Wray is an experienced criminal defense practice serving Chester, Delaware, Montgomery and Philadelphia Counties. Criminal Defense Attorney Kevin Mark Wray has been defending individuals charged with drug offenses, including drug trafficking offenses, for nearly a decade. Kevin Wray will thoroughly examine your case, exploring what options, defenses and/or mitigating circumstances may be available to you. Criminal Defense Attorney Kevin Mark Wray is committed to reaching the best possible outcome for each of his clients who have been charged with alleged drug offenses.
The Law Office of Kevin Mark Wray is an experienced criminal defense practice serving Chester, Delaware, Montgomery and Philadelphia Counties. Contact the Law Office of Kevin Mark Wray today to schedule a free initial consultation for your pending drug offense charges.
Law Office of Kevin Mark Wray
200 West Front Street
Media, PA 19063
(610) 800-5487 (mobile)
(610) 810-2999 (office)
(610) 566-1002 (fax)
This web posting is for general information and does not contain a full legal analysis of the matters presented. It should not be construed as legal advice or relied upon as legal opinion on any specific facts or circumstances. The invitation to contact Kevin M. Wray, Esquire is not a solicitation to provide professional services and should not be construed as an availability to perform legal services in any jurisdiction in which Kevin Wray is not licensed to practice.