If you are facing federal possession charges in New York, you likely know that your future is at risk. If you are imprisoned or must pay hefty fines, it can affect your job and your reputation even after you serve your sentence. The following is a brief overview of federal possession charges and federal drug scheduling.
Under federal law, it is against the law to possess controlled substances. To prove possession, it must be shown that you knowingly and intentionally possessed a controlled substance. An exception is if you had a lawful prescription for the drug.
The penalties you face if you are found unlawfully in possession of a controlled substance depend on what schedule the drug falls under, how much of the drug you possessed and whether it is your first or subsequent offense.
There are five federal drug schedules based upon whether the drug has a valid medical purpose and based on the drug’s potential for abuse or dependency.
Schedule I drugs have no accepted medical use and have a high potential for abuse or dependency, such as heroin, LSD and ecstasy. Schedule II drugs have an accepted medical use but have a high potential for abuse or dependency, such as Vicodin, cocaine and methamphetamine.
The schedules go all the way down to Schedule V drugs, which have an accepted medical use and a low potential for abuse. The Controlled Substance Act lists what drugs fall under what schedule.
What to do when you are facing possession charges
If you are accused of drug possession it is important to act quickly. One of the first steps you will want to consider is seeking professional assistance. Federal drug laws can be confusing, so having someone explain what you are facing and how to wage a strong defense can be imperative.