Schedule III, IV, and V Drugs

The drugs included in schedules III, IV, and V are not quite as dangerous as schedule I and II substances, but you may nevertheless face stiff penalties if you get caught in their possession. The Illinois legislature has the responsibility of classifying narcotic substances into schedules from I to V, with schedules I being the most dangerous. This list largely mirrors the federal Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) scheduling system, grouping drugs into similar schedules based on:

  • Their potential for abuse
  • The scientific evidence of their pharmacological effect
  • The available scientific data on the drugs
  • The current and historical patterns of abuse
  • Any other factors relating to abuse
  • The risk these drugs pose to public health
  • The physical or psychological dependence the drugs may cause
  • Whether the substances are so-called “gateway drugs”
  • The consequences of overdosing

The list of drugs contained in schedules III, IV, and V is too expansive to include here. The content of these schedules is also changing constantly as new drugs come onto the market. If you’re unsure of what schedule a certain substance fits into, you can consult the Illinois Controlled Substance Act, 720 ILCS 570, Article II.

What Are Schedule III Drugs?

Schedule III drugs have a lesser potential for abuse when compared to schedule I and II substances like cocaine, heroine, and methamphetamine. Schedule III drugs have an accepted role in treating medical issues, and present a moderate to low risk of physiological dependence, while presenting a high potential for psychological dependency. The list of schedule III drugs contains substances such as:

  • Ketamine
  • Solutions containing up to 1.8 grams of codeine per 100 milliliters, or up to 90 milligrams per dose
  • Solutions containing up to 500 milligrams of opium per 100 milliliters or per 100 grams; or up to 25 milligrams per dose
  • Solutions composed of up to 50 milligrams of morphine per 100 milliliters or per 100 grams

Schedule III also contains all anabolic steroids, with the exception of the following:

  • Androgyn
  • Andro-Estro
  • DEPO-T.E.
  • Duomone
  • Estratest
  • Estratest H.S.
  • Premarin containing methyltestosterone
  • TEST-ESTRO Cypionates
  • Testosterone Cyp 50 Estradiol Cyp 2
  • Testosterone Cypionate-Estradiol Cypionate injection
  • Testosterone Enanthate-Estradiol Valerate injection

What Are Schedule IV Drugs?

The drugs contained in this schedule have a low potential for abuse when compared to schedule III substances. Schedule IV substances are accepted for medical use in the United States and their abuse may lead to limited psychological or physiological dependence. Some commonly abused Schedule IV drugs are:

  • Tramadol
  • Valium
  • Xanax

What Are Schedule V Drugs?

Schedule V drugs have the lowest potential for abuse and are accepted for medical use in the United States. The risk of developing either psychological or physical dependency on a Schedule V substance is lower than for a schedule IV substance. For this reason, there are not many popular recreational drugs contained in this schedule, some possible exceptions being:

  • Solutions containing up to .2 grams of codeine per 100 milliliters or 100 grams
  • Solutions containing up to .1 grams of opium per 100 milliliters or 100 grams

The Penalties for Possessing Schedule III, IV, or V Drugs

The use or possession of schedule III, IV, and V drugs is legal for people in possession of a valid prescription. Without a prescription, the possession of these substances is generally a Class 4 Felony, punishable by fines of up to $25,000 and 1 to 3 years in prison. Unless a weapon was involved or the possession took place within 1,000 feet of a school, most sentences will involve probation or drug abuse treatment instead of hard jail time.

The possession of anabolic steroids—with the exception of those exempted from schedule III classification—is a misdemeanor punishable by a $1,500 fine and possible jail time of up to 30 days. For a second offense, the possible jail sentence increases to 6 months.

Ketamine is one of the few schedule III drugs with a separate penalty, which applies only to amounts of 30 grams or more. This is a Class 1 Felony involving fines of up to $200,000 and a possible jail term of 4 to 15 years.

Defending Against Your Drug Possession Charges

A charge for possession of a controlled substance is a serious matter, because a conviction could result in fines, jail time, and a felony entry on your criminal record that can affect your ability to get a job or receive financial aid for college. But with a qualified Chicago criminal defense lawyer by your side, you stand a chance at having the charges dropped, getting an acquittal, negotiating a guilty plea for a lesser offense, or receiving a lenient sentence in case you’re found guilty.

If the police violated your constitutional rights when they arrested you, searched your home, or pulled you over, it may be possible for your lawyer to keep the prosecution from presenting evidence against you. Further, the prosecution must prove every aspect of its case beyond a reasonable doubt. Having worked as a prosecutor himself, Chicago criminal defense attorney Michael O’Meara of O’Meara Law LLC knows where to look for gaps in the prosecution’s case. If you’re facing charges for possession of a controlled substance, call 312-909-0706 for a free and confidential consultation of your case.