Pennsylvania's Controlled Substance, Drug, Device and Cosmetic Act sets out the different schedules, or classes, of prescription drugs in the state. These schedules determine the sentencing guidelines to be applied when a party is charged with a prescription drug, or controlled substance, crime.
Prescription drug crimes include the possession of prescription drugs without a valid prescription, forging a prescription, altering a prescription, possession with intent to distribute or driving under the influence. There are five schedules of drug classifications, defined as follows: Schedule I has a high risk of abuse, no current medical use in the U.S., and is not considered safe. Schedule II has a high potential of abuse that may lead to severe psychic or chemical dependence and is currently accepted for medical use in the U.S. with severe restrictions.
Schedule II drugs have less potential for abuse than Schedules I and II, but abuse may lead to moderate dependence, and they are currently accepted and widely utilized as medical treatment in the U.S. Schedule IV drugs have a low potential for abuse and limited dependence concerns. They are also currently accepted for medical use in the U.S. Finally, Schedule V drugs also have a low potential for abuse and limited dependence concerns, whether physical or psychological.
While the drug schedules set out in the Act cover all narcotic medications, there are some that are currently much more prevalent in society and commonly found in prescription drug crimes. They include Oxycodone, Xanax, Percocet and Adderall just to name a few.
If you have been charged with any type of prescription drug crime in Pennsylvania, an experienced attorney may be able to have your charges decreased depending on the circumstances.