Controlled Substance

Pennsylvania’s Controlled Substance, Drugs, Device, and Cosmetic Act

Drugs have varying levels of risk and addiction. Pennsylvania law of unlawful drug possession is based on the risk of the particular drug in question and whether the drug has a valid purpose. The Controlled Substance, Drugs, Device, and Cosmetic Act1 classifies substances into five different categories—called “schedules.”2 These schedules are determined as follows:

  • Schedule I – No approved medical usage and the highest amount of risk for abuse.
  • Schedule II – Limited use in current medical treatment and a high amount of risk for abuse.
  • Schedule III – Accepted medical usage and less risk of abuse than Schedule II substances.
  • Schedule VI – Accepted medical usage and less risk of abuse that Schedule III substances.
  • Schedule V – Accepted medical usage and low risk for abuse or dependency.

Some examples of classifications of controlled substances are as follows:

Schedule I: Heroin, Marijuana, LSD, Methaqualone

Schedule II: Cocaine, PCP, Morphine, Methamphetamin, Methadone

Schedule III: Anabolic steroids, Hydrocodone, Codeine

Schedule IV: Valium, Xanax, Numerous other prescription drugs

Schedule V: Cough syrups with codeine

The penalties you may face in your Pennsylvania drug case will largely depend numerous factors, including the type of drug in question, the amount you allegedly possessed, whether your case involves possession, trafficking, or other related charges, and more. Penalties can include probation, paying a fine, time in prison, and could result in a felony conviction on your criminal record. The penalties for subsequent offenses involving controlled substances will often increase substantially.

Brian J. Zeiger, Esquire is an experienced Philadelphia drug crimes defense lawyer. No matter what type of drug crime allegations you are facing, you should never delay in contacting an experienced drug crimes attorney in Philadelphia. Drug cases can be complicated and may involve unique legal issues. If you are facing any type of drug-related charges, it is imperative that you are represented by a criminal defense attorney who understands the drug laws in Pennsylvania and how to defend against drug charges. At the Zeiger Firm, we are committed to aggressively defending every client to achieve the best outcome possible. Please call for help at 215.546.0340 today.