A Sheriff in Butts County reported that one of his deputies stopped a vehicle for some Georgia Traffic Violations. The routine traffic stop led to an investigation of the vehicle. During the investigation, the deputy found dozens of large bags of marijuana.
The police reports revealed that there was a total of 101 pounds of marijuana, and the driver was arrested on marijuana trafficking charges.
There are many different types of marijuana offenses in Georgia. These offenses range from Georgia possession of marijuana to Georgia manufacturing marijuana. As a result of today's news story, I will focus this post on the offense of trafficking marijuana.
Trafficking Marijuana in Georgia
Trafficking marijuana in Georgia is defined by the Georgia Code as:
When someone sells, manufactures, grows, delivers, brings into this state, or has possession of a quantity of marijuana exceeding ten pounds. O.C.G.A. § 16-13-31(c).
Simply put - what usually defines different drug offenses in Georgia is the quantity of drugs involved. Even though other states have less strict laws or have legalized marijuana, Georgia is a strict state regarding marijuana.
The state of Georgia must prove the accused person guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in order to convict them. The penalty for a trafficking marijuana conviction varies on the number of pounds the accused person has been caught trafficking.
- 10 lbs to 2,000 lbs = a 5 year prison sentence and $100,000 fine.
- 2,000 lbs to 10,000 lbs = a 7 year prison sentence and $250,000 fine.
- Any amount greater than 10,000 lbs = a 15 year prison sentence and $1 million fine.
All of the sentences above are mandatory minimum sentences. A judge makes the final decision about sentencing.
As a Georgia Criminal Defense Lawyer, I'd like to point out some ways that the mandatory minimum sentencing can possibly be avoided and some of the defenses that can apply to trafficking charges.
Some of the ways the mandatory minimum sentence can be avoided are if your Georgia Criminal Defense Attorney can prove that the accused person was not the leader of the criminal conduct, did not possess a firearm or dangerous weapon during the crime, the conduct did not result in death or serious bodily harm, or no prior felony convictions.
Some of the Georgia Criminal Defenses that apply to trafficking marijuana charges include evidence of trafficking found by illegal means or incorrect amount reported during the initial investigation.
If you or a loved one has been charged with a crime in Georgia, contact us today.