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Controlled Substances Violations & Drug Crimes Laws

Drug Crmes

What are Controlled Substances Violations?

In Washington State, if you are caught with a controlled substance (a.k.a. a drug prescription) without a valid prescription for it, you can be charged with a felony offense—possession of a controlled substance without legal cause. According to RCW 69.50.401:

(1) Except as authorized by this chapter, it is unlawful for any person to manufacture, deliver, or possess with intent to manufacture or deliver, a controlled substance.
(2) Any person who violates this section with respect to:
(a) A controlled substance classified in Schedule I or II which is a narcotic drug or flunitrazepam, including its salts, isomers, and salts of isomers, classified in Schedule IV, is guilty of a class B felony and upon conviction may be imprisoned for not more than ten years, or (i) fined not more than twenty-five thousand dollars if the crime involved less than two kilograms of the drug, or both such imprisonment and fine; or (ii) if the crime involved two or more kilograms of the drug, then fined not more than one hundred thousand dollars for the first two kilograms and not more than fifty dollars for each gram in excess of two kilograms, or both such imprisonment and fine...
There is an exception to the law when marijuana is involved. In Washington State, if you are twenty-one years of age or older, and you are legally in possession of marijuana within the proper limits, you are not guilty of a controlled substance crime.

What Drugs Are Considered Controlled Substances?

In the state of Washington, there is a long list of prescription drugs and other substances that are considered to be controlled substances. These drugs are categorized in Schedule II through V of chapter 9A.20 RCW. The drugs have been categorized by the federal government based on their potential risk for addiction. Washington State adopted the federal governments rankings of and rules concerning these drugs. Schedule I contains the most addictive drugs while Schedule V contains the least addictive drugs. According to the DEA drugs in Schedule I include "substances, or chemicals are defined as drugs with no currently accepted medical use and a high potential for abuse."

Some of the drugs in each of these categories are as follows:

Schedule I Drugs - heroin, lysergic acid diethylamide (LSD), 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine (ecstasy), methaqualone, and peyote;

Schedule II Drugs - combination products with less than 15 milligrams of hydrocodone per dosage unit (Vicodin), cocaine, methamphetamine, methadone, hydromorphone (Dilaudid), meperidine (Demerol), oxycodone (OxyContin), fentanyl, Dexedrine, Adderall, and Ritalin;

Schedule III Drugs - products containing less than 90 milligrams of codeine per dosage unit (Tylenol with codeine), ketamine, anabolic steroids, testosterone;

Schedule IV Drugs - Xanax, Soma, Darvon, Darvocet, Valium, Ativan, Talwin, Ambien, Tramadol;

Schedule V Drugs - cough preparations with less than 200 milligrams of codeine or per 100 milliliters (Robitussin AC), Lomotil, Motofen, Lyrica, Parepectolin.

Download an alphabetical listing of controlled substances that includes Schedule I though V categories and alternate names for the various drugs: Controlled Substances List.

Legal Representation in Washington State

If you or someone you know has been charged with illegal drug possession in Tacoma, Federal Way, Olympia, Seattle, or another city in Washington State, it is important to contact an experienced criminal defense attorney like Stephen G. Johnson. The defendant will need a knowledgeable and experienced attorney to effectively defend him or her. Controlled substance charges are serious and should not be taken lightly. Legal counsel will provide the best defense if you are charged with drug or controlled substances violations crimes.

Contact Stephen G. Johnson