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Drug Charges

It is illegal to possess, sell or manufacture certain controlled substances and drug paraphernalia in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.

Interestingly, drug crimes are NOT listed in the Pennsylvania Crimes Code, title 18 of Pennsylvania Code. "The Controlled Substance, Drug Device and Cosmetic Act" is the PA statute that defines crimes involving illegal drugs in Pennsylvania. This act can be found in title 35, Health and Safety, chapter 6 of the Pennsylvania Code. To search for the definition of a drug crime, type the following citation in your internet search engine: 35 P.S.§780-113. §780-113 lists all crimes involving drugs. The following are common Pennsylvania drug crimes and their respective statute number and sub-section number:

The Controlled Substance Act defines a controlled substance as a "drug, substance, or immediate precursor included in Schedules I through V of this act." The act lists all controlled substances and classifies the substances into schedules I-V based on their potential for abuse. The Secretary of Health of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania controls what substances are listed in the schedules. The complete schedule of controlled substances can be found at 35 P.S. §780-104.

Schedule of Controlled Substances

Schedule I Controlled Substances - schedule I controlled substances have a high potential for abuse and have no accepted medical use. The following are examples of schedule I controlled substances:

  • Marijuana
  • Heroin
  • Ecstasy
  • Crack Cocaine
  • LSD
  • Peyote
  • Psychedelic Mushrooms

Schedule II Controlled Substances - schedule II controlled substances have a high potential for abuse but have an accepted medical use in the United States. The following are examples of schedule II controlled substances:

  • Cocaine
  • Methadone
  • Methamphetamine
  • Percocet
  • Oxycontin
  • Codein
  • Demerol
  • Dexedrin
  • Ritalin
  • Adderall

Schedule III Controlled Substances - schedule III controlled substances have a potential for abuse less than the substances in schedules I and II. Schedule III substances have well documented and currently accepted medical use in the United States. Abuse may lead to moderate or low physical dependence. Examples of schedule III controlled substances are:

  • Anabolic Steroids
  • Amphetamine
  • Ketamine
  • Opium
  • Vicodin

Schedule IV Controlled Substances - schedule IV controlled substances have a low potential for abuse and limited physical and/or psychological dependence compared to the substances in schedule IIII. These substances have current accepted medical uses in the United States. The following are examples of schedule IV controlled substances:

  • Xanex
  • Klonopin
  • Valium
  • Ambien
  • Barbituates (i.e.- Phenobarbital)

Schedule V Controlled Substances - schedule V controlled substances have even less potential for abuse than those substances listed in schedule IV. The following are schedule V controlled substances:

  • Cough Suppressants containing Small Amounts of Codein
  • some anticonvulsants such as Lyrica

Per the Pennsylvania possession statute, 35 P.S. §780-113(a)(16) it is illegal to possess the above listed substances without a valid prescription.

Delaware County Drug Charge Defense Attorney

The consequences of violating Pennsylvania's drug laws may be serious. You need to select your lawyer carefully. Conviction can lead to jail time, probation, treatment programs, large fines, community service or deportation. Even a small possession charge can end up on your criminal record the rest of your life and result in a license suspension.

My firm vehemently defends people against any and all types of drug charges. As a former Assistant DA, I was promoted to handle felony drug cases after only a few months on the job and as a defense attorney I have handled serious possession with intent to deliver cases involving hefty mandatory sentences.

Contact Us

If you have been charged with delivery, sales, drug trafficking, possession with intent to deliver, manufacturing, possession, drug paraphernalia, or other drug crimes, contact my office at (610) 299-0295, or send me an email at