Are all drugs created equal? Not when it comes to drug crimes in Georgia. Georgia law has several classifications of drugs known as “schedules,” and the potential penalties for drug crimes depends on what schedule the drug falls under.

A Schedule I drug in Georgia is a substance that has a high potential for abuse and for which there aren’t any acceptable medical purposes for using the drug. Some examples of Schedule I drugs in Georgia include heroin and ecstasy.

A Schedule II drug in Georgia is a substance that has a high potential for abuse as well as potentially being psychologically or physically addictive, but for which there is an acceptable medical purpose for using the drug, albeit with severe restrictions regarding such use. Some examples of Schedule II drugs in Georgia include cocaine, hydrocodone and methamphetamine.

A Schedule III drug in Georgia is a substance that has a lesser chance of abuse than Schedule II and Schedule I drugs, that has a low or moderate chance for being psychologically or physically addictive and for which there is an acceptable medical purpose for using the drug. One example of a Schedule III drugs in Georgia is steroids.

A Schedule IV drug in Georgia is a substance that has a lesser chance of abuse than Schedule III drugs, that there is merely a limited potential that the user will become psychologically or physically addicted to the drug and for which there is an acceptable medical purpose for using the drug. Two examples of Schedule IV drugs in Georgia are Xanax and Valium.

Finally, a Schedule V drug in Georgia is a substance that has a lesser chance of abuse than Schedule IV drugs, that there is a limited potential that the user will become addicted to the drug and for which there is an acceptable medical purpose for using the drug. Many medications that require a prescription fall under this category.

Crimes involving Schedule I drugs have much more serious penalties than Schedule V drugs. Thus, it is important if you are facing drug charges in Georgia, that you understand which Schedule the drugs at issue fall under. Having a thorough knowledge of the law is important when it comes to developing a defense strategy, and for this reason many Georgians facing drug charges choose to work with professionals who understand criminal law and the defenses available when one is accused of a drug crime.