Controlled Substance | Federal Controlled Substances Act

Our attorneys at the Zoukis Consulting Group are experts regarding controlled substance laws, charges, and penalties. One of our trusted defense attorneys will assist you in court if you’ve gotten charged with a drug crime.

A skilled defense attorney knows how to negotiate on your behalf. We can also help to prepare you and speak with you regarding life sentences. Contact us today so that we can start working on your case right away.

What Are Controlled Substances?

Controlled substances are classified and determined by the federal government to be substances that are available through a valid prescription or any other legitimate means. Within the Controlled Substances Act, controlled substances get divided into five “schedules” of drugs.

The least dangerous substances are in Schedule V, and the most dangerous substances are placed in Schedule I.  In federal drug cases, this classification system applies; moreover, many states have adopted the federal government’s classification system. (21 U.S.C. §§ 801 and following.)

What Are the Controlled Substance Regulations?

The Controlled Substances Act is a statute that establishes federal U.S. drug policy, which regulates the manufacture, possession, importation, distribution, and use of certain substances.

The purpose of the Act is to further research drug abuse and drug dependence, as well as how to prevent them from occurring. Additionally, the Act provides treatment and rehabilitation for drug abusers and people that are drug dependent. It seeks to strengthen law enforcement authority as it pertains to drug abuse.

The Controlled Substances Act has two subchapters; subchapter I defines Schedules I-V and enumerates the list of chemicals used in the manufacturing process of controlled substances. 

Furthermore, it differentiates between unlawful and lawful manufacturing, possession, and distribution of controlled substances. That includes possession for the personal use of Schedule I drugs.

Moreover, it goes on to specify the duration of prison terms and the dollar amount of fines for these violations.

Subchapter II deals with the laws governing the exportation and importation of controlled substances. It also outlines the specific fines and prison terms for performing such violations.

Drugs get classified in order of their medical value and the degree to which they can get abused.

You can observe the drug schedule classification system here.

Controlled Substance Charges

There is a varying degree of charges that come with controlled substance laws. Selling is usually punished more severely than possession, and drug trafficking happens to be punished more harshly than selling. Narcotic charges may include the following:

Drug possession: This charge covers the possession of any kind of controlled substance, except marijuana; there are separate charges for this substance.

Drug distribution: This is a charge for selling, delivering, or distributing a controlled substance of any sort, including marijuana. Charges can become worse if you get caught selling drugs to a minor or you are within a specified radius of a public housing establishment, school, or university.

Substances that fall under this regulation are heroin, opium, cocaine, morphine amphetamines, methamphetamines, and ecstasy.

Manufacturing narcotics: This charge includes the cultivation of plants used to make controlled substances.

Drug trafficking: You can face severe drug trafficking charges if you get accused of the sale, manufacture, or delivery of a set amount of a controlled substance. Drug trafficking carries a serious minimum mandatory sentence.

What are the Penalties Associated With Controlled Substances?

Drug possession charges can vary greatly in regards to the penalties accompanied with the charges. That can depend on the state in which the crime occurred or if there are federal charges involved.

The severity of the punishment depends on several factors. Such factors include the specific kind of drug involved, the criminal history of the offender, and the circumstances having to do with why the drugs were in their possession.

There are harsher penalties for having possession of Schedule I drugs and less severe penalties for Schedule V drugs.


Instead of a jail sentence, many states allow courts to sentence drug offenders to a drug treatment program or a period of rehabilitation. Attending a rehabilitation program is sometimes mandatory with probation sentences.


Drug possession convictions often result in fines. Fines can range from a minor fine of $100 or less to more considerable fines of $100,000 or more for federal charges.


You can be sentenced to jail and even prison time if convicted of the possession of a controlled substance. Depending on the crime charged, the state’s laws, and the kind of drugs involved— sentences can range from days or weeks to 10 years and even more in prison.


Similar to probation diversion programs are often used with first-time offenders in drug possession cases. By the direction of a prosecutor, diversion allows a drug offender to enter into a behavior modification and counseling program. This requires the offender to comply with specific demands for a certain period, usually about 6 months or more.


Probation is usually given to offenders in drug possession cases. Probation may include other punishments such as fines, jail time, or rehabilitation like drug treatment. Convicted offenders must comply with all of the conditions or face going to prison.

An Attorney That Knows the Controlled Substance Laws Can Help

If you’re facing a drug charge, you need a controlled substance lawyer. The Zoukis Consulting Group can advise you on your rights and negotiate the details of your sentence. These charges can get extensive so it’s important to have an experienced lawyer by your side to support you.

Please call us today for more information and assistance.