How Are Drugs Classified for Criminal Charges in Illinois?

Published: May 24, 2017, by admin in Drug Crimes, Legal Blog

In Illinois, the penalties for some drug crimes depend on the drug that you were allegedly caught with. Like at the federal level, Illinois law divides drugs into schedules according to their potential for abuse. Crimes involving schedule I drugs (which are considered to be the most dangerous) involve severe penalties, whereas drugs in other schedules are treated with more leniency. Regardless of the illicit substance involved in your case, Chicago drug defense lawyer Michael O’Meara Law can protect your freedom. With over 20 years of experience as both a prosecutor and criminal defense attorney, he is well positioned to lead your case to the best possible outcome.

To find out how you can avoid the harsh penalties of a drug crime conviction, call 312-909-0706 today.

Schedule I and II Drugs

Substances placed in schedules I and II have an extremely high potential for abuse. They are also likely to lead to psychological or physical dependence with continued use. Schedule I drugs are considered to be useless from a medical standpoint, and their use is seen as unacceptable under all circumstances. Schedule II drugs, on the other hand, have some accepted medical uses.

Drugs that have been placed into schedule I include, but are not limited to:

  • Heroin
  • Marijuana (despite its use as medicine in several states)
  • Peyote
  • Salvia
  • Ecstasy
  • MDMA and MDA
  • LSD
  • PCP

Substances that are considered to be slightly less harmful are listed in schedule II:

  • Hydromorphone
  • Oxycodone
  • Meperidine
  • Methadone
  • Codeine
  • Cocaine
  • Coca Leaves
  • Opium
  • Morphine
  • Methamphetamine

Schedule III and IV Drugs

Schedules III and IV are considered to be less dangerous than schedules I and II. The drugs in these categories still have the potential for abuse, but the risk of dependency is low to moderate. More specifically, substances in schedule III are considered to be moderately addictive, whereas the drugs in schedule IV are less likely to cause physical or psychological dependence.

Examples of drugs in schedule III include:

  • Buprenorphine
  • Ketamine
  • Anabolic steroids
  • Dronabinol

Substances that have been placed into schedule IV are:

  • Klonopin
  • Xanax
  • Restoril
  • Versed
  • Lorazepam
  • Barbital
  • Diazepam
  • Tramadol

Schedule V Drugs

The drugs in Schedule V are unique in that they consist of solutions containing limited quantities of harmful narcotics. In addition, these drugs are thought to be less harmful if used infrequently, and the risk for abuse and dependency is minimal. While these drugs are not likely to cause any serious health issues, their purchase is regulated, as they do contain small amounts of narcotics.

Substances that can be found in schedule V include:

  • Cough syrups that contain less than 200 milligrams of codeine
  • Medicines used to prevent seizures, such as ezogabine

Let Attorney Michael O’Meara Defend You in Court

In addition to the type of substance, the penalties for a drug crime depend on the amount involved in the case. Your sentence may also be affected by aggravating or mitigating circumstances. With the complexity that surrounds most drug cases, you cannot settle for a public defender who may not have the time to give your case the thorough approach it deserves. You need Chicago drug defense attorney Michael O’Meara, who has the resources and experience to effectively defend your case.

To learn more about what defense strategies may apply to your drug case, call O’Meara Law today at 312-909-0706 for a free and confidential consultation.