Have You Been Charged with Unlawful Distribution of Schedule I or II Drugs in Georgia?
Drugs and narcotics that are illegal or only legal to possess with a valid prescription are called controlled substances. These are classified into five schedules. Under Georgia law, it is illegal for a person to distribute a schedule I or schedule II drug unlawfully. If you or a loved one have been charged with Unlawful Distribution of Schedule I or II Drugs in Georgia, you need experienced representation. We have over 50 combined years of criminal defense experience and here to help you defend against any drug charges. Call today to schedule a free case evaluation.
Georgia Law on Unlawful Distribution of Schedule I or II Drugs
Georgia has extensive drug crime laws. It is critical to hire an experienced criminal lawyer if you have charged with a drug crime in Georgia. These laws are highly technical and are challenging to defend for people who do not work with these statutes on a daily basis. Unlawful distribution of a schedule I or schedule II drug in can fall under 1 of 2 different statutes in Georgia. The first section only applies to those who are considered registered distributors of drugs, while the second code section applies to anyone.
O.C.G.A. § 16-13-43(a) reads as follows:
(a) It is unlawful for any person:
- Who is a registrant to distribute a controlled substance classified in Schedule I or II, except pursuant to an order form as required by O.C.G.A. § 16-13-40.
Under O.C.G.A. § 16-13-21, registrant includes physicians, dentists, podiatrist, scientific investigators, or other persons otherwise authorized under Georgia law to distribute a controlled substance in the course of professional practice or research.
In addition, O.C.G.A. §16-13-30(d) also makes it illegal to unlawfully distribute Schedule I or II drugs.
The Penalty for Unlawful Distribution of Schedule I or II Drugs in Georgia
A person convicted of O.C.G.A. § 16-13-43 will be guilty of a felony and will face up to eight years in prison, a maximum fine of $55,000, or both. Having a felony conviction on your record can also make it difficult to obtain housing, employment, or receive credit.
However, a person convicted under § 16-13-30(d) will face heavier punishments. They will still be charged with a felony but for a first conviction will face a prison sentence between five and thirty years. A second or subsequent conviction will result in a prison term between ten and forty years or life in prison.
However, all drug possession cases will result in a mandatory suspension of your driver's license. If this is the first offense, then the suspension will last for a minimum of six months. If this is the second offense, the penalty is one-year suspension and a third or subsequent offense results in a minimum two-year suspension.
Georgia Defenses to Unlawful Distribution of Schedule I or II Drugs
The police used an illegal stop: One defense available to you that your Unlawful Distribution of Schedule I or II Drugs lawyer in Georgia can investigate is whether the police conducted an illegal stop, detention, or search when they discovered the drugs. 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: Some courts have found that if the amount of drug seized was a small amount; then, that could lead to the presumption that it was not going to be used for distribution but instead; for personal use. While there is no set standard for what sum amounts to distribution, the Court decides on a case-by-case basis, and our Georgia Distribution of Schedule I or II Drug Attorneys could use this defense to try and prove your innocence.
Innocence: Witness testimony or an alibi can be used to help prove your innocence. If you have any of these things, contact one of our Georgia Unlawful Distribution of Schedule I or II Drug Attorneys so they can help you try to get the charges dropped.
What are Not Defenses
It belongs to someone else: Even if the substance does not directly belong to you, if caught in possession of it and the evidence supports an assertion that you were planning on distributing it, you could be found guilty.
Our Georgia Unlawful Distribution of Schedule I or II Drugs Attorneys will help you understand your options and will assist you with your case. To schedule a free consultation with Attorney Richard Lawson, Kimberly Berry or their team of Georgia Unlawful Distribution of Schedule I or II Drug Lawyers, contact our offices today. Our Attorneys are dedicated to being accessible to their clients—days, nights, weekends, and holidays while working hard on their behalf. Every drug possession 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. Contact us today for your free case evaluation. Your future and ability to drive are at stake; do not sit around waiting for your case to resolve itself.