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Understanding the Drug Schedules in Tennessee

When you are facing a charge or conviction that is related to drug use, distribution, or manufacturing, it is important to be aware of the drug schedule and how it could affect your case. The drug schedule identifies the risk of the drug in question, categorizing your offense based on the type of drug.

If you are facing any type of drug charge, consider hiring a criminal defense lawyer in Knoxville to help you understand your rights and fight for the best legal outcome for your case.

What is a Drug Schedule?

The drug schedule is set up to categorize the severity and risk of drugs. The schedule designates the most addictive or abused drugs. Depending on the schedule of the drug, this could affect your conviction and your charges, since some drugs are considered more dangerous or addictive than others.

In Tennessee, the most addictive drugs are ranked under Schedule I, while the least addictive are under Schedule V. There is also a Schedule VI. We’re going to break down these details for you here.

Schedule I

Drugs in this category are typically the most serious because they have a high risk of dependency and addiction. They are almost never used for medical purposes. The sentence can be rated a Class B felony with 8-12 years in jail and up to $200,000 in fines.

  • LSD
  • Mushrooms
  • Heroin
  • Peyote
  • BZP
  • Mescaline

Schedule II

Schedule II drugs are some of the most commonly abused street drugs and are often misused. There are occasions when these are used for medical purposes, but those are rare. The conviction varies depending on how much you have, but it ranks as a Class B or C felony with up to 12 years in prison and up to $100,000 in fines. In some cases, it is rated a Class A, which is far more severe.

  • Cocaine
  • Methamphetamine
  • Amphetamine
  • Opium
  • Codeine
  • Methadone
  • Morphine
  • Ritalin

Schedule III

Schedule III is less severe and less dangerous. These are rarely abused or misused, but they could lead to a Class D felony, with up to 4 years in prison and up to $50,000 in fines.

  • Hydrocodone
  • Ketamine
  • Anabolic steroids

Schedule IV

In most cases, these drugs are used as prescriptions for patient needs. They must be prescribed for use and they can lead to dependence. Crimes in this schedule may rate as a Class C or Class D felony with jail time up to 6 years and fines up to $100,000.

  • Xanax
  • Valium
  • Klonopin
  • Fenfluramine
  • Flunitrazepam
  • Sedatives or benzodiazepines

Schedule V

Schedule V is the least severe with very little concern for addiction. Medicines may contain small amounts of opium or codeine. Drug abuse in this category is a Class E felony with up to 2 years in prison and up to $5,000 in fines.

Schedule VI

Schedule VI is specifically related to any marijuana, drug with THC, or synthetic equivalents of these drugs. Marijuana is illegal for both medical and recreational use, with the exception of low-THC CBD-based products that may be used for someone with seizure issues.

The punishments vary depending on the amount of possession. You could find yourself facing up to a Class A felony with severe punishments.

No matter what your situation may be, consider working with a criminal defense lawyer in Knoxville for drug-related crimes. These lawyers can help you navigate the legal system every step of the way.

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