Georgia Drug Possession Laws
Georgia drug possession laws are exceptionally harsh and can land you in prison if you don’t have a good attorney. If you are facing drug charges, an experienced lawyer can make all the difference in the outcome of your case. Much like its neighbor Florida, the state of Georgia has little tolerance for drug possession.
In a state with overcrowded prisons and a significant problem with drug crime, a good attorney may be able to help offer you a solid and effective defense if you have been arrested for drug possession.
If you are presently being charged for possession, your penalties depend on a number of factors including the type of drug, the amount and what you intended to do with it; for example, if you were caught with less than an ounce of marijuana on your person and intended to smoke it yourself, the penalties would be much lighter than if you were caught with heroin or cocaine.
In the United States, drugs are categorized into schedules with Schedule I substances being the most serious. Schedule I substances would include: heroin, peyote, LSD, GHB, ecstasy and hallucinogenic mushrooms. Whereas Schedule II substances would include: cocaine, crack-cocaine, opium, methadone, oxycodone and methamphetamines. These lists are not exhaustive and even many prescription drugs are considered controlled substances. Even possessing someone else’s prescription or selling your own prescription medication is in violation of Georgia law and is a criminal offense.
In Georgia, you don’t have to have the drugs in your pocket or in your hand to be found guilty. The state of Georgia defines possession as either “actual” or “possessive,” meaning you could be charged with possession if they are in your home or in your vehicle, as long as it can be proved that they were in your control.
Where other states have practically decriminalized marijuana possession, in Georgia, possession of more than one ounce of marijuana is a felony offense and can land you in prison for anywhere ranging from 1 to 10 years.
Possession of less than an ounce of marijuana is a misdemeanor with potential penalties involving up to $1,000 in fines and one year in prison. Being in possession of a Schedule 1 or 2 drugs is a felony offense and sentencing can range from 2 to 15 years on a first offense, longer for second or subsequent offenses.
What’s more, if you are convicted of possession in Georgia, your driver’s license will be suspended for a mandatory six months on your first offense. On a second offense, you will lose your driving privileges for one full year and longer for third or more offenses.
Regardless if this is your first offense, or your third, an attorney will give you the greatest opportunity for beating your charges. If this is your first offense, you may be eligible for a conditional discharge, which allows you to admit to possession without a conviction or guilty plea going on your record. You would then be placed on probation and as long as you follow the terms of your probation, your original charges could be dropped.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Fox Firm, P.C.
Fox Firm, P.C. practices criminal defense in Lawrenceville, Georgia and all throughout Gwinnett County. The firm can handle all types of criminal offenses in Georgia including: DUI, drug crimes, traffic cases, violent crimes, assault, theft, sex offenses, forgery fraud, school suspensions and many more. They have helped countless clients receive reduced sentences and dropped charges over the years. The firm’s commitment to the highest ethical standards and his client’s success is avidly demonstrated in every case that they take on. Regardless of your circumstances, they have the knowledge and the skills to challenge any evidence against you and seek a reduction in the penalties that you are presently facing.
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Disclaimer: While every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of this publication, it is not intended to provide legal advice as individual situations will differ and should be discussed with an expert and/or lawyer. For specific technical or legal advice on the information provided and related topics, please contact the author.