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Drug crimes are categorized into schedules based on the potential for abuse, medical use, and dependency on the controlled substances involved. Understanding these is essential for anyone facing drug-related charges or seeking to prevent them. Here, we will explore the various drug crime schedules in South Carolina and the legal implications associated with each.

image of drug sniffing dog

There are key differences in the legal consequences associated with each category of drug crime schedule.

Schedule I Substances

These drugs are considered to have a high potential for abuse and no accepted medical use in the United States. Examples include heroin, LSD, ecstasy, and Marijuana. Possession, distribution, or trafficking of Schedule I substances carries severe penalties in South Carolina, including significant fines and lengthy prison sentences.

Schedule II Substances

Those have a high potential for abuse but may have accepted medical uses with severe restrictions. Common drugs include cocaine, methamphetamine, oxycodone, Adderall, and fentanyl. Possession, distribution, or trafficking of Schedule II substances can result in harsh legal consequences, including mandatory minimum sentences for certain offenses.

Schedule III Substances

They have a lower potential for abuse than Schedule I or II drugs and may have accepted medical uses. Examples include ketamine, anabolic steroids, and some prescription medications containing codeine or hydrocodone. While penalties for Schedule III drug offenses are generally less severe, they can still result in significant fines and imprisonment.

Schedule IV Substances

Drugs that have a lower potential for abuse than Schedule III ones and have accepted medical uses. Well known include Xanax, Valium, Ativan, and Ambien. Possession or distribution of Schedule IV substances without a prescription can lead to criminal charges and legal consequences. However, penalties are typically less severe than Schedule I, II, or III offenses.

Schedule V Substances

Those have the lowest potential for abuse among controlled substances and have accepted medical uses. These include medications containing limited quantities of certain narcotics, such as cough syrups with codeine. While possession and distribution of Schedule V substances without a prescription are still illegal, penalties are generally less severe compared to other drug crime schedules.


The drug schedule classification is split into five levels, and their legal implication is different. If you face drug possession charges, find yourself in a situation that involves illegal substance, contact our criminal defense lawyer as soon as possible. Call Henderson & Henderson law firm in Charleston, at 8432123188 to get assistance.

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