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How are drugs classified?

If you have been charged with a drug crime in Nebraska, you might have wondered how the specific charges against you were determined. While there may be multiple factors that play into a criminal charge, when it comes to drugs the classification of the drug involved is one of those factors. The U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration outlines what it refers to as five different schedules of drugs. These are determined based upon the combination of the substance's approved or safe medicinal use and the likelihood that it may lead to dependence or abuse.

The substances that are considered the most serious have not be approved to be used medically. They also have the highest potential for abuse. These are in the grouping referred to as Schedule I. Some examples of Schedule I drugs include ecstasy, peyote, LSD and heroin. Moving down the chain to Schedule II are substances that are approved to be used for medical purposes but that are also known to have a high potential for physical and psychological dependence. Ritalin, Adderall, Vicodin, oxycodone and methamphetamine are some Schedule II drugs.

A drug that is not listed on the official DEA schedules but has a chemical structure akin to a Schedule I or II drug, is not approved for medical use in the U.S. and is intended to be consumed by humans may be considered a controlled substance analogue. Involvement with these substances may lead to drug charges.

This information is not intended to provide legal advice but is instead mean to give Nebraska residents an overview of how different illegal or legal prescription drugs are classified.

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  • Defendant was charged with sexual assault of a minor. At the deposition of the alleged victim, our firm got the alleged victim to confess that she made the whole thing up. Charges were dropped against our client.
  • Defendant was charged with possessing a large quantity of marijuana. Following a complete investigation by our firm, the State agreed to dismiss all charges against our client.
  • Defendant was charged with embezzling more than $300,000.00, from a previous employer. At the deposition of the alleged victim, our firm highlighted a number of inconsistencies and questionable statements. The State agreed to dismiss all charges against our client.
  • Defendant was charged with child abuse resulting in death. Following the investigation of our firm, depositions of key witnesses and presentation of our findings to the prosecutor, the State agreed to dismiss the charges against our client.
  • Defendant was charged with carrying a concealed weapon. The matter proceeded to trial and the jury found our client Not Guilty.

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