How Do Controlled Substance Schedules Affect Drug Crime Sentences in Pinellas County?


Drug crime sentencing can drastically vary depending on a multitude of factors, the most significant being the scheduling of the substance(s) involved.

As the leading defense attorneys in St. Petersburg, we at Russo, Pelletier & Sullivan understand the importance of building a defense strategy based on the specific details of your case, because it’s the details that can make all the difference in the courtroom.

What Are Controlled Substance Schedules?

Controlled substances are categorized into five schedules. These schedules classify drugs based on their potential for abuse, accepted medical use, the degree of physical or psychological dependence they may cause, and ultimately any penalties.

  • Schedule I substances are considered the most dangerous, with a high potential for abuse and no accepted medical use. These include heroin, LSD, and MDMA.
  • Schedule II substances have a high potential for abuse but have accepted medical uses with severe restrictions. These include cocaine, methamphetamine, and prescription medications like oxycodone and fentanyl.
  • Schedule III substances have a moderate to low potential for physical and psychological dependence. This category includes anabolic steroids, codeine, ketamine, and some barbiturates.
  • Schedule IV substances have a low potential for abuse relative to Schedule III drugs and include medications like Xanax, Valium, and tramadol.
  • Schedule V substances have the lowest potential for abuse and consist of preparations containing limited quantities of certain narcotics, such as cough medications with less than 200 milligrams of codeine per 100 milliliters.

Drug Schedules and Their Legal Implications

Although the schedule classification of a substance does not impact the minimum and mandatory sanctions as prescribed by Florida law for possessing the substance, the way that the charge is viewed by the Judge and prosecutor will certainly be different depending on the drug schedule classification. For example, possessing heroin will certainly be viewed as more aggravated that possessing tylenol with codeine. 

If you are facing any kind of drug crime charge, it is extremely important that you immediately contact a top St. Petersburg drug crimes attorney with Russo, Pelletier & Sullivan for expert representation.

Contact the Top Drug Defense Firm Today

If you or a loved one are facing a drug crime charge, it is of the highest importance that you are aware of how the classification of any substances involved can potentially impact the charges. Contact the best drug crime defense attorneys in St. Petersburg with Russo, Pelletier & Sullivan today for legal representation.

Request a consultation with our leading St. Petersburg defense attorneys or give our office a call today at (727) 493-9386.

Disclaimer: The information contained in this article is for general educational information only. This information does not constitute legal advice, is not intended to constitute legal advice, nor should it be relied upon as legal advice for your specific factual pattern or situation.