Facing a drug charge is no small matter. How you handle the charge can have life-long consequences: You could face time in prison and very steep fines. After that, the ramifications continue. You may have difficulties finding an employer who will hire you or a landlord who will agree to lease you a place to live, for example. 

It is imperative that you understand how the state of Maryland classifies drugs, as the courts will determine your sentence according to which classification your charges fall under. 

If the state of Maryland finds you with a Controlled Dangerous Substance, it will classify the CDS according to two criteria: its ability to cause dependence and abuse, and whether you have medical approval for such substances. Maryland has classified drugs under five schedules. Being in possession of drugs from Schedule I, II, and sometimes III, may mean harsher sentences. 

Schedule I 

This category includes the most potent and addictive drugs out there, including but not limited to heroin, ecstasy, LSD and marijuana. 

Schedule II 

Substances in this category are as equally addictive and dangerous as the ones from schedule I. However, the one difference between the drugs in schedule II is that doctors can approve these drugs for medical use. Substances can include methamphetamines, Vicodin, Oxycodone, cocaine, morphine, Ritalin and Adderall. 

Schedule III 

The CDS in this category do not have as high of a potential for abuse and dependency as those found in schedule I and II. These include narcotics, codeine, ketamine, Suboxone and anabolic steroids. 

Schedule IV 

The following drugs still have a classification as CDS. However, they are not that addictive and doctors prescribe them for medical use. Common examples include Valium, Xanax, Klonopin, Ambien and Ativan. 

Schedule V 

This last classification includes substances that are relatively harmless, some of which are even available over-the-counter without the need for a prescription from a doctor, such as cough suppressants containing codeine, and certain pain medications.