The Law Office of Brian J. Mirandola


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Understanding Illinois Controlled Substance Schedules

 Posted on December 13, 2021 in Drug Crimes

Elgin Controlled Substance Defense LawyerIf you or a loved one were charged with possession, sale, or manufacture of a controlled substance, you may be searching for information about what to expect. Drug charges vary dramatically based on the type of drug in question and the amount of the substance the person allegedly manufactured, sold, or possessed. Understanding what you are up against when you are charged with a drug-related crime can be difficult. Read on to learn about drug scheduling in Illinois and the potential penalties you or your loved one may face if convicted of the drug charge.

Illinois Classifies Drugs Based on Potential for Misuse and Medical Benefits

Many drugs that are sold or used illegally have legitimate medical purposes. For example, opiates like Vicodin and OxyContin are powerful pain relievers often used to relieve pain after surgery. Even fentanyl, an extremely potent synthetic opioid, is used lawfully to relieve pain in cancer patients. However, using these drugs without a doctor’s authorization is a criminal offense.

Medical use and the potential for addiction are the two main factors used to classify controlled substances in Illinois.

  • Schedule 5 - Medicines with small amounts of narcotics that have legitimate medical uses and little potential for misuse usually fall into category 5.

  • Schedule 4 – Benzodiazepines used to treat anxiety and other mental illnesses including diazepam fall into category 4. Tramadol, a synthetic opioid, is also considered a schedule 4 drug.

  • Schedule 3 - Buprenorphine, an opioid sometimes used to treat opioid withdrawal, ketamine, and certain steroids are schedule 3 drugs.

  • Schedule 2 – Because they can be used to make cocaine, coca leaves are schedule 2 controlled substances. Codeine, oxycodone, and methamphetamine are also schedule 2 drugs.

  • Schedule 1 – Opiates and hallucinogenic drugs are considered schedule 1 drugs with the most potential for addiction and misuse.

Possession, Sale, and Manufacture of Controlled Substances

The criminal penalties associated with drug crimes are usually based on the amount of the substance. For example, if you are caught with 20 grams of heroin, cocaine, LSD, or morphine, you face a Class 1 felony punishable by four to 15 years in prison. However, possessing anabolic steroids is a Class C misdemeanor offense punishable by a maximum jail sentence of 30 days. Possession of large quantities of drugs or items used in the manufacture or sale of drugs can lead to charges of possession with intent to distribute.

Contact an Elgin Criminal Defense Lawyer

If you or a loved one were charged with a drug crime, contact a Kane County criminal defense attorney for help right away. Call The Law Office of Brian J. Mirandola at 847-488-0889 for a free, confidential consultation.



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