After months of investigation conducted by the Georgia Bureau of Investigation in DeKalb County, there have been four arrests and close to $70,000 seized in both drugs and cash. GBI agents learned that a man had been distributing heroin and methamphetamine from a home in Stone Mountain.
Each one of the four people involved now faces charges of trafficking a schedule II narcotic and a plethora of other drug possession and firearm possession charges.
Before we jump into the law, I'd like to voice some opinion.
As a Georgia Criminal Defense Lawyer, I am disappointed whenever I see serious drug charges given to people who are seemingly low-level drug dealers.
Yes, the charges against them are arguably appropriate if the state of Georgia is able to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that they are guilty of the offenses that they are accused of, but my issue is that authorities rarely find the actual suppliers. Legislatures created trafficking laws in order to penalize high-level drug traffickers.
This is yet another example of how we are charging and imprisoning low-level drug dealers and not holding to the purpose of the law.
Let's look at what a Schedule II Narcotic is in Georgia.
As I mentioned above all four individuals are facing charges of trafficking a Schedule II narcotic. The Controlled Substances Act categorizes different narcotics and defines Schedule II as cocaine, methamphetamine, hydrocodone, opium, codeine, morphine, ketamine, and fentanyl.
Now let's look at the actual trafficking charges.
Being charged with trafficking a schedule II drug in Georgia has extremely serious consequences. The difference between Schedule II possession, Schedule II distributing, and Schedule II manufacturing drugs from trafficking is determined by the amount actually seized. Twenty-eight grams is the dividing line according to Georgia law (O.C.G.A. §16-13-31). The determinations are as follows:
First, 28 grams or more, but less than 200 grams is a mandatory minimum term of imprisonment of ten years and a fine of $200,000.
Second, 200 grams or more, but less than 400 grams is a mandatory minimum term of imprisonment of 15 years and a fine of $300,000.
Third, 400 grams or more, the person shall be sentenced to a mandatory minimum term of imprisonment of 25 years and a fine of $1,000,000.
If you or a loved one has been charged with trafficking narcotics in Georgia, you need a Georgia Criminal Defense Attorney. Being represented by someone is has a deep understanding of laws as well as the Georgia Criminal Process is of vital importance. Contact us today.