Have you Been Charged with Selling 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 the crime of selling marijuana. Remember, a charge is not the same as a conviction, so it is vital to your case to hire a lawyer that is knowledgeable in the field of marijuana.
Georgia Law on Selling 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 selling 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.
A suspect was convicted of selling marijuana in violation of O.C.G.A. §16-13-30 to an undercover police officer. The officer drove to a Holiday Inn to meet with the suspect who his informant had said sells marijuana. The suspect told the officer to look in a sack in the back seat, and the officer saw approximately one pound of marijuana in there. The officer paid the suspect for the marijuana and then the suspect was subsequently arrested for selling marijuana. Puckett v. State, 178 Ga. App. 143, (1986).
What has to be Proven
To be guilty of selling marijuana, the State must demonstrate that the accused is guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. It is unlawful for any person to sell marijuana; therefore, the State would have to present evidence showing that you were selling marijuana.
Penalty for Selling Marijuana in Georgia
The penalty for being charged with selling less than 10 pounds of 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. Anything over ten pounds is considered the crime of Trafficking Marijuana.
Selling marijuana within 1,000 feet of school grounds, a park, housing project, or in a drug-free zone has it is own consequences. In any of those situations, the penalty will be a felony punishable by up to twenty years in prison and/or a fine up to $20,000 for the first offense. For a second or subsequent offense, the penalty increases to a minimum of five years in prison but no more than forty years and/or a fine up to $40,000.
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 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).
A suspect can even receive a fine if they sold or delivered a marijuana-flavored product to a minor. The crime will be charged as a misdemeanor with a penalty of $500 for each offense. O.C.G.A. §16-13-32.6.
Defenses to Selling Marijuana in Georgia
Illegal means: If the methods used to suppress the marijuana were unconstitutional, then any evidence obtained will not be allowed in Court.
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 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 marijuana found has a large impact on your case.
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.
The amount was not enough to sell: 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 attempting to sell marijuana.
What are not Defenses
Lack of possession: Courts look at whether a person had actual or constructive possession. Actual possession means that a person has the marijuana either on them or in their proximity. Constructive possession means that the marijuana was in an area where the person exercises dominion or control over. Therefore, even if you do not have the marijuana directly on your person, you can still be guilty of sale of marijuana if it was in an area under your control.
Georgia Sale of Marijuana Lawyers will help you understand your options and will assist you with your case. To schedule a free consultation with one of our Georgia Marijuana lawyers, contact one of our highly experienced Lawyers. 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 sale of 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.