South Carolina Drug Schedules Explained

South Carolina Drug Schedules Explained

On Behalf of | Jul 29, 2022 | Drug Crimes |

When arrested on drug charges in South Carolina, the exact charge is based on a few factors including but not limited to the amount or weight of the drugs and of course, what type of drugs are found.  Both of these factors can drastically affect the potential sentence you may be facing.

The South Carolina Drug Laws recognize five (5) separate and distinct categories of drugs into “Schedules.”  What schedule a certain drug may fall into depends on the drug’s acceptable medical use as well as the drug’s potential for abuse or dependency.  An example of common drugs for each schedule is as follows:

  • Schedule I: Schedule I drugs have no accepted medical use and have extremely high potential for abuse. Some of the more common drugs in this schedule are Heroin, LSD, Ecstasy or MDMA and Marijuana (The debate for the legalization of Marijuana is reserved for another day)
  • Schedule II: Schedule II drugs have a high potential for abuse and can potentially result in severe psychological or physical dependance. A few of the more common schedule II drugs include Cocaine, Fentanyl, Oxycontin, Adderall, Methamphetamine and other amphetamines and Methadone.
  • Schedule III: Schedule III drugs have a moderate to low potential for physical and/or psychological dependence. Common schedule III drugs include Anabolic Steroids, GHB and Codeine.
  • Schedule IV: Schedule IV drugs maintain a low potential; for abuse and relatively low risk for either psychological or physical dependance. Some common examples are Ambien, Darvocet, Xanax or Alprazolam.
  • Schedule V: Schedule V drugs are those compounds, chemicals or substances that have little potential for dependence and abuse (relative to those substances listed in Schedule IV) and has a currently accepted medical use. Schedule V drugs may include substances that have small amounts of narcotics in the compound such as certain cough medicines.  These items require a valid prescription.

Depending on the amount and type of substance, penalties for possession of a certain substance can vary wildly.  For example, mere possession of Marijuana, first offense is a simple misdemeanor that carries up to 30 days or a fine whereas possession of a few grains (not grams) of Heroin (also a schedule I drug) can result in sentence of up to three (3) years.  Of course, the more of a substance one is found in possession of could result in more substantial potential penalties.

A drug charge can have potential devastating consequences that can impact the rest of your life.  After paying the fines or doing the time, you could continue to suffer professionally and personally.  Additionally, drug crimes have enhanced penalties – in other words, there are stiffer penalties for each subsequent conviction, including potential minimum prison sentences.

Working with an experienced Criminal Defense Attorney just may help you in the reduction of the charges or possibly a dismissal of the charge.  You future is too important – do not let a drug charge ruin it.  Call the Right Lawyer, Right Now.