DC Drug Laws

In Washington DC, drug laws prohibit the possession of certain substances that are defined under the law as drugs or controlled dangerous substances. The laws also prohibit the sale and distribution of those substances as well as the transportation of drugs. Read below to learn more about DC drug laws. And if you are facing charges, get in touch with an experienced drug lawyer today.

Illegal Drugs in DC

The DC code defines different categories of controlled substances, based on the relative medicinal value of the drug and the potential for abuse, addiction, or harm from the use of the drug. There are five categories of drugs, and the D.C. code includes a list of the specific drugs that are included in each category. In DC, drugs are categorized from Schedule I to Schedule V controlled substances. The substance I drugs are considered the most unsafe and have a high potential for abuse. The substance V drugs have the lowest possibility of abuse and are the least regulated.

These drugs include what is commonly thought of as street drugs, including cocaine, heroin, methamphetamines, and substances that are illegal in some circumstances, like the better use of prescriptions without legally authorized use. The use of these substances in a prohibited way could be criminal in certain circumstances under DC law. For more information, consult with an accomplished attorney today.

Legal Exceptions for Interacting with Drugs

There are exceptions that enable certain people to legally interact with abuse drugs. If a person has a prescription for the drug, they are legally allowed to use that substance in accordance with the prescription. That use and behavior without the prescription could be illegal, but if they have a prescription, it is legal. If the individual is a healthcare provider or a caregiver, they could possess and administer certain prescription drugs or substances that would otherwise illegal to possess. Other relatively common-sense circumstances, such as medical testing or medical treatment if they are a doctor or a physician’s assistant, enable people to possess certain substances and drugs that would otherwise be illegal to possess. Those require specific and particularized authorization to a licensing body or other processes that authorizes the individual to come into contact, possess, administer, use, or test a particular controlled dangerous substance.

Drug Penalties in Washington DC

There are certain drugs that are penalized more harshly than others. DC has tiers of different types of drugs, and the associated penalties are different for those tiers. For example, for the crime of manufacturing or distributing schedule V drugs, which is the least serious and includes various substances that could be found in medication and other types of drugs, the maximum felony is one year in jail. If it is a schedule I drug, which is the opposite end of the spectrum and includes some of the serious street drugs like cocaine or PCP, the maximum penalty for manufacturing or distributing those types of drugs is 30 years.

The penalties for a drug offense depends on the type of drugs. The rationale behind that is the idea that some drugs are more dangerous. Something that is addictive or narcotics are generally regulated more heavily and bring harsher penalties for misuse. The strengths of the drugs and the impact on the body are a factor. Associated with that are the general social impact and the propensity for the abuse of the drugs and associated crimes that are perceived to be associated with the use and illegal distribution of the drugs, which leads to the schedule one drugs being at the most serious end of the spectrum.

If you are facing penalties for a drug offense, contact a dedicated lawyer who is knowledgeable about DC drug laws. An attorney could advocate for you and help you build a strong defense.