Summary

Controlled substances are classified under 5 schedules:

  • Schedule 1 – High potential for abuse with no medical accepted treatment in the U.S (Cannabis, heroin, LSD, Peyote)
  • Schedule 2 – High potential for abuse with severely restricted accepted treatment in the U.S (Opium, hydrocodone, morphine, oxycodone, cocaine, methamphetamine)
  • Schedule 3 – Potential for abuse and currently accepted medical use in treatment in the U.S (anabolic steroids)
  • Schedule 4 – Low potential for abuse and has a currently accepted medial use treatment in the U.S
  • Schedule 5 – Low potential for abuse and current medical use

Elements

In order to be proven guilty of possession of a controlled substance, the state must prove 4 things beyond a reasonable doubt:

  • The defendant actually or constructively possessed a certain substance
  • The substance was a controlled substance
  • The defendant had knowledge of the presence of the substance; and
  • The defendant did not have the legal justification to possess the substance.

Example

Michael was pulled over for reckless driving. Upon approaching the car, the officer saw a glass pipe laying on the bottom floorboard of the back seat. The officer then searched the car, and found an ounce of marijuana hidden in the trunk. Michael was arrested for possession of a controlled substance, and charged with a third-degree felony.

Maximum Penalty

The punishment for possession of a controlled substance depends on the type of drug. Generally, the punishment is a third-degree felony. If however, the defendant only had in his/her possession cannabis in quantities less than 20 grams, the punishment is reduced to a first-degree misdemeanor.