Drug Crimes in Georgia
There are numerous types of drug crimes in Georgia. Some of them have subtle distinctions between each of them while others are significantly different. The punishment for a drug crime conviction ranges from a simple misdemeanor to twenty years in prison. It is important to hire a Drug Crime Attorney in Georgia who is familiar with the crimes and knows the impact a conviction will have on your future. The Office of Lawson and Berry and their team of Georgia Drug Crime Lawyers have over 20 years experience so let their experience work for you.
Drug crimes in Georgia include:
Conditional Discharge: A program for first-time drug offenders that allows them to take advantage of a probation program instead of going to jail. If the offender completes the conditions as ordered, then the court will dismiss the charges. An offender can only use this program once.
Drug Court: It is a special court where the judge, prosecution, probation officers, law enforcement, mental health professionals, and social services work together to help addicted offenders into long-term recovery. The purpose is to give those charged with a drug crime a second chance and hopefully stop the abuse of alcohol or drugs.
Manufacturing Cocaine: Cocaine is a schedule II drug in Georgia along with methamphetamine and opium. Manufacturing cocaine comes with serious consequences including a prison term between five to thirty years for a first conviction.
Manufacturing Marijuana: A person can be guilty of manufacturing marijuana in a variety of ways. They include when a person manufactures, delivers, distributes, administers, purchases, sells, or possesses with intent to distribute marijuana. Manufacturing marijuana is considered a felony and you need an experienced Georgia Drug Crime Lawyer to assist you with your case.
Possession of Cocaine: Cocaine is considered a schedule II drug in Georgia. A person can be guilty of possessing cocaine when they buy it or just by having it in their possession.
Possession of Marijuana: A person can be found in possession of marijuana in two ways: actual or constructive. Actual possession occurs when the marijuana is found directly on your person. Constructive possession occurs when marijuana is found somewhere that is under your control. For instance, your house.
Possession of Cocaine with Intent to Distribute: Possession of cocaine with intent to distribute is a separate crime from simply possessing cocaine. It is considered a felony conviction with a penalty of a prison term between five and thirty years. For a first offense, you do have options such as conditional discharge or drug court to help alleviate the punishments.
Possession of Marijuana with Intent to Distribute: Possession of marijuana is separate from the offense of possession of marijuana with intent to distribute. The penalty is elevated to a felony and the prison term is extended.
Possession of Drug Related Objects: It is common knowledge that people can be arrested if found in possession of drugs. However, a person can also be arrested if they are found to be in possession of drug related objects. These can range from scales, bongs, filters, pipes, or drug packaging material.
Possession of Methamphetamine: Methamphetamine is considered a schedule II drug in Georgia. The penalty of being charged with possession of methamphetamine is a prison term between five and thirty years.
Possession of Schedule I Drug: Drugs that are classified as schedule I drugs in Georgia include ecstasy, heroin, and LSD. They are considered highly addictive drugs. Possession of a schedule I drug will be treated as a felony.
Possession of Schedule II Drug: Schedule II drugs in Georgia include cocaine, fentanyl, methamphetamine, amphetamines, barbiturates, oxycodone, and codeine. These drugs are not as highly abused as schedule I drugs but many people become physically dependent upon these drugs.
Possession of Schedule III Drug: Steroids are the most common schedule III drugs used. Some schedule III drugs have limited medical use. They are not as abused as schedule I or schedule II drugs.
Possession of Schedule IV Drug: Xanax and valium are examples of schedule IV drugs in Georgia. Abuse of schedule IV drugs can lead to psychological or physical dependence. The penalty for possessing a schedule IV drug will also be a felony.
Possession of Schedule V Drug: Most schedule V drugs have accepted medical uses and people rarely become dependent on these drugs. However, possession of these drugs will still be treated as a felony.
Sale of Cocaine: Selling cocaine is considered a severe crime in Georgia. It is heavily penalized and your best option is to hire a Georgia Drug Crime Lawyer if charged with selling cocaine. If selling more than 28 grams, the crime becomes trafficking cocaine.
Sale of Marijuana: Selling marijuana is a serious crime in Georgia. It is illegal for a person to possess marijuana and then to sell marijuana. If selling more than 10 pounds of marijuana, the offense becomes trafficking marijuana.
Sale of Methamphetamine: Methamphetamine is part of the schedule II drugs in Georgia. A person can be charged with selling methamphetamine if the amount is less than twenty-eight grams.
Trafficking Cocaine: Trafficking cocaine and selling cocaine are similar crimes. Selling cocaine becomes trafficking once the possession exceeds 28 grams. Trafficking cocaine can include selling, manufacturing, growing, delivering, or bringing cocaine into the state of Georgia.
Trafficking Ecstasy: Ecstasy is a schedule I drug in Georgia and any crime associated with it carries significant consequences. While sale and trafficking ecstasy are similar crimes, it will be elevated to trafficking once the amount reaches 28 or more grams.
Trafficking Marijuana: Trafficking marijuana and selling marijuana are similar offenses. However, the difference is in the quantity of marijuana. Once the quantity exceeds 10 pounds, then it becomes trafficking marijuana.
Trafficking Methamphetamine: Methamphetamine is a schedule II drug in Georgia. Selling methamphetamine becomes trafficking methamphetamine once a person sells, delivers, brings into the state, or possesses 28 grams or more.
Penalty for Drug Crimes in Georgia
Drug crime convictions come with substantial penalties, most of which include a prison term and fines. The majority of drug crimes in Georgia are considered a felony and will have a significant impact on your future including making if difficult to obtain employment or credit.
One factor that may increase a prison sentence is whether a minor was involved. If a person under the age of 21 years participates in the sale or manufacturing of a controlled substance, then the crime is automatically elevated to a felony, and the penalty will be higher.
Alternatively, Georgia allows for conditional releases or diversion programs for people facing their first criminal prosecution. A conditional release is a program similar to probation where you have conditions set by a judge that you must satisfy for the charges to be dropped. Judges are more likely to order a conditional release it is the first drug offense for the accused, and it is a relatively minor case. The conditions could include requiring the accused to undergo a comprehensive rehabilitation program or medical treatment.
There are several options your Georgia Drug Crime Lawyer can use on your behalf. Many courts offer the possibility of Drug Court. Under this program, participants go through mandatory treatment, frequent drug testing, and other program requirements. All though the program is strict, successful completion will result in the dismissal of the felony drug charge.
Defenses to Drug Offenses in Georgia
While each crime has specific defenses that apply to it; these are just a couple arguments that could be used to defend your case:
I did not know that I possessed drugs (also known as unwitting possession): An example of this is if a friend asked you to drop off a package to another friend. You had no reason to suspect that illegal drugs were in the package, and you were caught speeding, and police officers discovered the drugs. Your Georgia Drug Crime Attorney could use this evidence to prove that you did not intend to possess illegal drugs and help get the charge dismissed.
Illegal Means: If the methods used to obtain the drugs were unconstitutional, then that evidence will not be allowed in Court.
Innocence: Witness testimony or an alibi can be used to help prove your innocence. If you have any of these things, contact one our Drug Crime Lawyers in Georgia, so they can help you try to get the charges dropped.
Lack of possession: If you are found in constructive possession of illegal drugs, then you have a defense that you did not possess it. Just being in proximity to illegal drugs is not enough to prove that you possessed it. The State must demonstrate that you possessed it even though you were not in direct proximity to it. An example of this is a person riding with two friends in a car. He is sitting in the passenger seat and is unaware that there are illegal drugs under the seat. Just because the bag is found under the seat, he was sitting in does not prove that he possessed the drugs.
The amount was incorrect: If you can prove that the amount seized was less than the amount you are charged with, then you would be eligible to have the charged reduced or receive a lesser sentence. Mistakes happen, and the amount of drugs found has a severe impact on your case.
This is not an extensive list of the defenses that could be used in your case. These are just some of the arguments your Georgia Drug Crime Attorney will evaluate to see if they apply. Every case is different, and our Georgia Drug Crime Lawyers will work with you to provide the best defense.
Contact Our Firm
Lawson and Berry and their team of Georgia Drug Crime Attorneys are here to help you. Drug crimes are among some of the most serious crimes and are not to be taken lightly. Your future depends on the outcome of your case so hire someone who cares just as much as you do. Our Lawyers have over 20 years of experience and are ready to help you. Call us today for a free consultation.