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Temple Criminal Defense > Blog > Drug Crime > What Are Controlled Substances In Texas?

What Are Controlled Substances In Texas?


If you have been arrested for drug possession or another drug offense in Texas, you might have heard reference to “controlled substances” and to the Texas Controlled Substances Act. You might also have come across information about penalty groups for specific controlled substances in Texas, and you might be unsure about what the schedule of controlled substances or the penalty groups mean for your case. In short, the schedule or penalty group associated with a particular drug can affect the type of charges you are facing and the potential penalties associated with a conviction.

An experienced Temple drug crimes attorney can provide you with more general information about controlled substances and penalty groups under Texas law, and can speak with you today about the specific facts of your case.

How Texas Law Defines a Controlled Substance 

Under the Texas Controlled Substances Act, a controlled substance is defined as “a substance, including a drug, an adulterant, and a dilutant, listed in Schedules I through V or Penalty Group 1, 1-A, 1-B, 2, 2-A, 3, or 4.” The law further explains that a controlled substances “includes the aggregate weight of any mixture, solution, or other substance containing a controlled substance” but does not include hemp.

Schedules I Through V 

What are Schedules I through V? These are categories that have been identified by the Federal Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) and determine whether the substances can be used lawfully with a prescription, whether the substances have a high abuse risk, and whether the substances have an accepted medical use in the United States. The Texas State Board of Pharmacy explains how the schedules work:

  • Schedule I: Drugs that have a high abuse risk and no safe accepted medical use according to the federal government. Examples include heroin, marijuana, LSD, and crack cocaine.
  • Schedule II: Drugs that have a high abuse risk but do have an accepted medical use. Examples include morphine and oxycodone.
  • Schedules III, IV, and V: Drugs with a risk of abuse lower than the Schedule II risk and with an accepted medical use. Examples include anti-anxiety medications, sedatives, and certain analgesics.

Drug Penalty Groups 

Different from the Schedules, drug penalty groups in Texas determine the criminal charge and potential penalty. All controlled substances in Texas that are possessed unlawfully or that are otherwise involved in a criminal act fall into one of the following penalty groups, with examples of each:

  • Penalty Group 1: Opiates, opiate derivatives, methamphetamine, GHB, Ketamine, and other related substances.
  • Penalty Group 1-A: LSD.
  • Penalty Group 2: Hallucinogenic substances such as THC and MDMA, amphetamine, and other substances.
  • Penalty Group 2-A: Synthetic chemical compounds designed to mimic the effect of cannabinoids.
  • Penalty Group 3: Stimulants, depressants, certain narcotics, and certain anabolic steroids.
  • Penalty Group 4: Certain compounds containing narcotics, such as codeine and morphine.

Contact a Drug Crimes Defense Lawyer in Texas 

If you have been arrested for a drug offense, or if you are currently facing drug charges in Texas, a dedicated and aggressive Texas drug crimes defense lawyer at our firm can discuss the penalty group associated with your alleged offense, the potential consequences of a conviction, and possible defense strategies to employ in your case. Contact The Law Office of Katie L. Gomez, PLLC to learn more about how we can help.



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