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Understanding What Is Considered a Controlled Substance

When it comes to drug crimes, the type of drug as well as the quality of the supposed drug could greatly impact the penalties a defendant could face. Thus, it is imperative that Iowa residents become fully aware of the charges against them and what criminal defense options they have.

Some drug charges could be based on the possession or sale of a controlled substance. This term refers to an illegal drug that could have detrimental effects on the health and welfare of a person. Both state and federal governments regulate these substances, and those caught possessing a controlled substance could be arrested, fined and could face serious consequences if convicted.

It should be noted that not all controlled substances are illegal to possess in all circumstances. Thus, it is important to understand what makes a controlled substance illegal. The federal government defines controlled substances as being any substance listed in any of five categories. Schedule I includes substances that have no accepted medical use. These are considered unsafe and carry a high potential for abuse. This includes heroine, LSD, marijuana, peyote and ecstasy.

Schedule II controlled substances are narcotics and stimulants that have a high potential for abuse, generating severe psychological or physical dependence. This includes Dilaudid, methadone, OxyContin, morphine, codeine, amphetamine and methamphetamine. Schedule III includes substances such as Vicodin, Suboxone, ketamine and anabolic steroids. These are substances that are considered to have a less potential for abuse; however, they could still lead to dependency.

Schedule IV includes substances that have a lower potential for abuse than Schedule III drugs, and includes substances such as Xanax, Valium, Ativan, Restoril and Halcion. Finally, Schedule V substances include those that are primarily preparations. These include limited quantities of narcotics and include cough syrups that contain codeine.

In technical terms, it is considered illegal to possess a substance listed in any of the above schedules. However, if an individual is properly prescribed the substance and lawfully purchased it, that individual has not violated the law and may be exempt from prosecution.

Source: Findlaw.com, "What Is a Controlled Substance?" accessed May 21, 2017

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  • DUI Defense Law
  • NACDL
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  • Iowa Association of Justice

Keegan, Tindal & Jaeger 

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  • J. Dean Keegan
  • Eric D. Tindal
  • Andrea D. Jaeger
  • J. Dean Keegan J. Dean Keegan

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    Decades of Award-Winning Legal Service J. Dean Keegan was born and raised in Waterloo, Iowa. After high school, Dean served ...
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  • Eric D. Tindal Eric D. Tindal

    Attorney

    Highly Rated Criminal Defense in Iowa City Eric D. Tindal, attorney at Keegan, Tindal & Jaeger, graduated from the University ...
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  • Andrea D. Jaeger Andrea D. Jaeger

    Attorney

    Experienced Criminal Defense in the Iowa and Illinois Quad Cities Andrea D. Jaeger practices in federal and state courts, ...
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    Henry County FECR005634. Attorney Tindal’s client was charged with First Degree Murder and Child Endangerment Causing Death. Following a two week trial, the Defendant was acquitted of all charges.

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    Muscatine County FECR056673. Vehicular Homicide was reduced to Involuntary Manslaughter. Total sentence was suspended.

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    Muscatine County FECR050038. Attorney Dean Keegan's client was charged with two counts of controlled substance violation, as well as two counts of failure to affix tax stamp. After a year of court appearances and negotiating with the prosecutor, all charges were dismissed with costs assessed to the State.

  • Carrying Weapons, Public Intoxication, & Disorderly Conduct Carrying Weapons & Public Intoxication Charges D

    Linn County AGCR108044. Attorney Dean Keegan's client was charged with Carrying Weapons, Public Intoxication, and Disorderly Conduct. After plea negotiations with the State, Mr. Keegan was successful in dismissing the Carrying Weapons and Public Intoxication charges.

  • Possession with Intent to Distribute Charges Dismissed

    Iowa County FECR010358. Attorney Tindal was able to show the Court that his client was detained in violation of his Constitutional rights and that the K9 utilized in the search was unreliable. Following hearing all charges were dismissed.

  • Embezzlement No Criminal Charges Filed

    Cedar Rapids, Linn County, Iowa. An employee of a Cedar Rapids business accused of embezzling six million dollars was not charged criminally after the County Attorney agreed to abide by an agreement negotiated by Attorneys J. Dean Keegan and Jerald Kinnamon in which the accused would pay two million dollars to the company.

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    Johnson County FECR089277. The Defendant was charged with Second Degree Sexual Abuse and other charges. Following a one-week trial by Mr. Tindal, the Defendant was acquitted of all charges.

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    Scott County FECR384046. The Defendant was charged with Trafficking Stolen Weapons and Misdemeanor Theft. The Court dismissed the felony following a Motion litigated by Mr. Tindal. The Defendant subsequently pled to the remaining misdemeanor.

  • Possession with Intent to Deliver Marijuana and Methamphetamine Charges Dismissed

    Washington Count FECR5351. Attorney Tindal and Attorney Clemens Erdahl successfully argued that evidence of drug manufacture was obtained in violation of the Constitution. All charges were dismissed.

  • Operating While Intoxicated 3rd Offense Charge Dismissed

    Linn County OWCR104143. Attorney Dean Keegan's client was charged with a felony 3rd offense OWI. Mr. Keegan argued the officer did not have reasonable grounds to pull over his client. The charges were dropped from a felony to a ticket fine of $15.00 for being in a park past closing time.

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