Have you Been Charged with Manufacturing Marijuana in Georgia?
Lawson and Berry and their team of Georgia Marijuana Lawyers can help if you or a loved one has been charged with manufacturing marijuana. Remember, a charge is not the same as a conviction, so it is vital to your case to get a lawyer that is knowledgeable in the field of marijuana.
Georgia Law on Manufacturing Marijuana
Marijuana is regulated under the Georgia Controlled Substances Act. While numerous other drugs are considered a scheduled substance, marijuana is not. O.C.G.A. §16-13-1(a)(1) states that the term controlled substance shall include marijuana. Being charged with manufacturing marijuana is not merely a slap on the wrist; it can have serious consequences. That is why it is vital to have an understanding and knowledgeable Attorney to help you with your case. The Law Office of Richard Lawson and his Team of Georgia Marijuana Attorneys will fight for you and try to help you avoid a criminal conviction. Do not wait to call; schedule a free consultation today.
O.C.G.A. §16-13-30(j) states it is unlawful for any person to manufacture, deliver, distribute, dispense, administer, purchase, sell, or possess with intent to distribute marijuana. The definition of manufacturing marijuana applies to the cultivation or planting of marijuana. Hunt v. State, 222 Ga. App. 66, (1996).
Police officers charged a suspect with manufacturing marijuana when they observed marijuana plants among other things. Ross v. State, 323 Ga. App. 28, (2013). After a helicopter search had spotted some marijuana plants growing in a tire in a rural area, a ground team was sent to investigate. The plants were behind a house that was not near other residences and was at the end of a distinct path from the house. Officers spotted the suspect going back and forth from a car to his house and arrested him for cultivating marijuana. Officers continued to search the premises and found fertilizer, devices used to roll marijuana cigarettes, and a book called The Healing Magic of Cannabis. The Court charged the suspect with the crime of manufacturing marijuana. The suspect argued that his Fourth Amendment right to the expectation of privacy had been violated. However, the Court did not hold up this argument, and he was found guilty of manufacturing marijuana.
What Has to be Proven
To be guilty of manufacturing marijuana, the State must demonstrate that the accused is guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. It is unlawful for any person to manufacture marijuana; therefore, the State would have to present evidence showing how the marijuana was being made.
Penalty for Manufacturing Marijuana in Georgia
The penalty for being charged with manufacturing marijuana is a prison term between one and ten years. O.C.G.A. §16-13-30(j)(2). The crime will also be classified as a felony.
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.
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 marijuana, then the crime is automatically elevated to a felony and will be punished by a prison term of five to twenty years and/or a fine up to $20,000. O.C.G.A. §16-13-30(k).
Defenses to Manufacturing Marijuana
The police used an illegal stop: One defense available to you that your Lawyer can investigate is whether the police conducted an illegal, stop, detention, or search when they discovered the marijuana. Police officers must have a Constitutional basis for both stopping you and searching you. If the stop is found to be unconstitutional, then anything found as a result of the search will be suppressed. If that happens, your case will be dismissed based on a lack of evidence.
The amount was not enough to distribute: Courts have found that if the amount seized was a small amount; then, that could lead to the presumption that the marijuana was not going to be used for distribution but instead; for personal use. Ryan v. State, 277 Ga. App. 490, (2006). While there is no set standard for what sum amounts to distribution, the Court decides on a case-by-case basis, and our Marijuana Attorneys could use this defense to try and show that you were not manufacturing marijuana for the purpose of selling it or distributing it.
Innocence: Witness testimony or an alibi can be used to help prove your innocence. If you have any of these things, contact one our Lawyers, so they can help you try to get the charges dropped.
I do not live at the residence anymore: If you have tenants at your previous home, and they are caught manufacturing marijuana, you could have a defense if you had no reason to suspect that the tenants were growing marijuana.
What are not Defenses
The equipment belongs to someone else: Even if the manufacturing equipment does not directly belong to you but is on your property, you could be found guilty. The Court assumes the owner of the house exercises dominion and control over the residence and therefore, they could still be convicted of manufacturing marijuana even if they did not physically commit the crime.
It was being used for medical reasons: Some states do allow for manufacturing of marijuana for medical grounds but Georgia does not. Therefore, even if you came from another state where it was okay to manufacture marijuana, you could still be convicted of the crime if you continued the practice in Georgia.
Georgia Manufacturing Marijuana Lawyers will help you understand your options and will assist you with your case. To schedule a free consultation with one of the Georgia Marijuana Lawyers at Lawson and Berry, contact our office today. Our Attorneys are dedicated to being accessible to their clients—days, nights, weekends, and holidays while working hard on their behalf. Your Attorney will make sure you understand all your options and the good and bad of each. Every manufacturing marijuana case is unique, and our Attorneys will work with you to formulate the best possible defense for your situation. They will advise you on the best approach to take for your case based on their many years of experience. Your future is at stake. Do not sit around waiting for your case to resolve itself.