Have You Been Charged with Unlawful Manufacture, Distribution, or Possession with Intent to Distribute Imitation Controlled Substances in Georgia?
Georgia laws strictly punish drug crimes. While it is known that possessing marijuana or methamphetamines is illegal, a person can also be charged for unlawful manufacture, distribution, or possession with intent to distribute imitation controlled substances in Georgia. No matter what type of drug offense you have been charged with, our Georgia Drug Crime Lawyers are here to help. 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 Manufacture, Distribution, or Possession with Intent to Distribute Imitation Controlled Substances
O.C.G.A. § 16-13-30.2 states that it is a crime for any person to knowingly manufacture, distribute, or possess with intent to distribute an imitation controlled substance.
As seen in the case of Dorsey v. State, the sale of an imitation controlled substance is also an act included under the statute. “A sale” is considered a distribution.
What is an Imitation Controlled Substance?
O.C.G.A. § 16-13-21(12.1) outlines imitation controlled substance means. It includes
(A) A product specifically designed or manufactured to resemble the physical appearance of a controlled substance such that a reasonable person of ordinary knowledge would not be able to distinguish the imitation from the controlled substance by outward appearances; or
(B) A product, not a controlled substance, which, by representations made and by dosage unit appearance, including color, shape, size, or markings, would lead a reasonable person to believe that, if ingested, the product would have a stimulant or depressant effect similar to or the same as that of one or more of the controlled substances included in Schedules I through V of Code Sections 16-13-25 through 16-13-29.
Georgia Case Law
In the case of Dorsey v. State, Dorsey was convicted of distribution of imitation crack cocaine. Dorsey sold an “off-white chunky material” to a narcotics agent where he claimed they were crack cocaine. During the trial, Dorsey argued that “a sale” was not a prohibited act under the statute. The Court concluded that a sale is a distribution by definition, although a distribution may or may not be a sale. Therefore, the Court found Dorsey guilty of distribution of imitation controlled substances. 212 Ga. App. 479, (1994).
The Penalty for Unlawful Manufacture, Distribution, or Possession with Intent to Distribute Imitation Controlled Substances in Georgia
A person convicted of O.C.G.A. § 16-13-30.2 will be guilty of a misdemeanor of a high and aggravated nature. In Georgia, misdemeanors of a high and aggravated nature come with a maximum fine of $5,000, a maximum of one year in jail, or both.
Alternatively, Georgia allows for conditional release 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 removed from the accused's record. Judges are more likely to order a conditional release if it is the first drug offense for the defendant, and it is a relatively minor case. The conditions could include requiring the accused to undergo a comprehensive rehabilitation program or medical treatment.
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 Manufacture, Distribution, or Possession with Intent to Distribute an Imitation Controlled Substance
I did not know that I possessed an imitation controlled substance (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 the contents of the package were illegal, and you were caught speeding, and they discovered the substance. Your Georgia Unlawful Manufacture, Distribution, or Possession with Intent to Distribute an Imitation Controlled Substance Lawyer could use this evidence to prove that you did not intend to possess the drugs and help get the charge dismissed.
The police used an illegal stop: One defense available to you that your Possession with Intent to Distribute Imitation Controlled Substances Lawyer in Georgia can investigate is whether the police conducted an unlawful 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.
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 Manufacture, Distribution, or Possession with Intent to Distribute Imitation Controlled Substances Lawyers 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, you could be found guilty.
I did not know it was a substance containing imitation controlled substances: While this can be used as a defense, if the accused knew that it could be illegal drugs in a package but did not look to have a defense if prosecuted, then they could still be found guilty of possession. An example is if a friend asks his neighbor to drop off a package for him. The neighbor is aware that the friend sometimes makes drug deals, and he suspects that the package contains illegal substances. However, he does not look inside the package to maintain innocence. This defense would not hold up in Court.
Our Georgia Unlawful Manufacture, Distribution, or Possession with Intent to Distribute Imitation Controlled Substances Lawyers will help you understand your options and will assist you with your case. 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.