Despite laws that encourage jail time rather than treatment and rehabilitation, Florida drug use continues to increase. While experts view addiction as a mental illness, not a crime, this is not a perspective shared in law enforcement. If convicted of possession or related charges, you may spend years in prison and become ineligible for employment or housing where you wish. We often mount a strong defense for clients accused of drug possession, including certain prescription drugs, such as oxycodone. 

The American Addiction Centers report that drug possession penalties vary based on the type of drug and amount they find in your control. There are five schedules or categories for illicit and prescription drugs defined by the federal government. The likelihood of abuse and medical benefits are factors that determine to which group a particular substance belongs. 

Schedule I 

Law enforcement considers drugs in this category the most dangerous as they have a high potential for abuse, but very little medical use. It includes GBH, LSD and heroin. Marijuana is also categorized in Schedule I. The U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency may re-assign cannabis based on recent state laws changes. This could favorably affect the severity of charges against you. 

Schedule II 

These category substances include several highly controlled prescription medications. Although approved medical applications exist, the potential for abuse is significant. Illicit substances that meet Schedule II criteria include opium, methamphetamine and cocaine. Prescription medications include morphine and oxycodone. 

Schedule III 

Schedule III drugs have a wide range of applications and may not be physically addictive. However, they are still controlled substances, such as Vicodin, ketamine and anabolic steroids. Some products that contain codeine also meet the requirements for this category. 

Schedule IV and V 

Containing primarily prescription medications, the abuse potential for these substances is low. Klonopin, Valium, Xanax and Atavan are part of these categories as are prescriptions that include small amounts of codeine or other narcotics. 

For a simple possession conviction, you could face fines of up to $5,000 and spend a year in prison. However, a felony conviction resulting from intent to distribute charges can have long-term life-altering consequences.