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Federal Drug Classifications

While all forms of illicit drug use are considered serious offenses in the US, federal law does acknowledge that different drugs have different levels of risk. Under the Controlled Substances Act of 1970, all illegal or regulated drugs are assigned to one of five classes based on their medical uses, potential for addiction, and dangers. The higher a drug is ranked in the classification schedule, the more severely a person can be punished for using, possessing, or selling it.

If you have been accused of using or trafficking in illegal substances, you will need efficient and thorough legal assistance. To discuss your rights with an experienced Champaign drug crime defense lawyer, call the offices of Bruno Law Offices at 217-328-6000.

The Classes of Controlled Substances

The five drug classifications spelled out in the CSA are:

  • Class I: These drugs supposedly have no medical benefits, a high potential for abuse, and no safe methods of use even under medical supervision. Examples of Class I drugs include marijuana (a controversial law that some activists are trying to change), heroin, and hallucinogens such as LSD and mescaline.
  • Class II: These drugs have some medical uses under closely regulated circumstances, but also have a high potential for abuse and can be severely addictive. Examples include cocaine and morphine, as well as other common stimulants and painkillers.
  • Class III: These drugs have some medical uses and relatively low potential for abuse, but can also be physically or psychologically addictive. Examples include anabolic steroids, ketamine, and painkillers that combine opiates with non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (such as Tylenol-3).
  • Class IV: These drugs have accepted medical uses and low potential for abuse or addiction (either physical or psychological). Examples include several kinds of barbiturates (such as Phenobarbital) and sedatives (such as Klonopin, Valium, and Xanax).
  • Class V: These drugs have accepted medical uses, and even lower risk of abuse or addiction than Class IV drugs. Examples include most types of cough syrup and certain anti-diarrheal drugs.

If you are facing charges for a drug-related offense, you need to understand the severity of your charges and the penalties you may be facing. Our Champaign illicit drug defense attorneys can provide the clear information and effective guidance you need at this difficult time.

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The Champaign criminal defense lawyers of Bruno Law Offices will fight for you. Contact our offices at (217) 328-6000.

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