Common Questions Asked About Controlled Substances
Controlled substances are defined as illegal drugs that could have a dangerous effect on a person’s health. These are substances that may have mind-altering effects or may contribute to drug abuse. Controlled substances are under the regulation of the state and federal government.
Are Controlled Substances Always Unlawful?
Prescription medication can also be considered a controlled substance. For instance, you may be prescribed anti-anxiety or pain medication that is classified as a controlled substance. If you have a prescription, then you are within your rights to carry the substance. However, if you do not have a prescription or if you were sold the pills illegally, then it would no longer be lawful.
What Are the Penalties for Possession?
The penalties for possession vary not only by state but also by substance and amount. For instance, if you have over 500 grams of cocaine on you, you may be facing up to 40 years in prison, whereas if you are caught with a small amount of prescription medication, you may be facing fines, rehabilitation, or jail time.
Drugs are categorized into schedules based on their potential for abuse and accepted medical use. Schedule I drugs have no accepted medical use and a high potential for abuse, whereas Schedule V drugs have a very small amount of narcotic.
Should You Follow State or Federal Laws?
People often become confused about which laws they should abide by. One rule of thumb to remember is that federal law always wins if there is a conflict between state and federal laws. It has become more complex recently with the legalization of recreational and medicinal marijuana in many states. Technically, marijuana is still illegal in all 50 states, but some leniency has been granted. The government allows states to set up a framework to regulate the sale and use of the drug. So, when it comes to marijuana, if you purchase it legally in the state that you are in, odds are you will never have to worry about the federal government.
Controlled substance laws can be complicated. Different states have different laws regarding controlled substances. If charged with a drug crime, you are more likely to be charged on the state level, unless you were involved in drug trafficking. In which case, this can be a more serious and federal offense. If you were recently charged with a drug crime, you may want to discuss your options with a lawyer, like a DWI lawyer from Frederick J. Brynn, P.C.