Georgia has very strict laws when it comes to the possession and use of illegal drugs. If you are facing drug charges for either possession or trafficking, you need to get legal assistance right away. Conviction of a drug-related offense can result in a long prison sentence, as well as steep fines and a lasting criminal record.
Our Atlanta drug lawyers have experience defending against a variety of these types of charges, and understand the nuances of the law when it comes to controlled substance regulation.
Our criminal defense lawyer in Atlanta can help you build the best possible defense based on the specific circumstances that led to the charges against you, and will work with you to fight a conviction every step of the way. En Español.
How an Attorney Can Help
Most people facing drug charges find themselves in an extremely difficult position after their arrest. While someone may feel hopeless if the police discovered drugs in their possession, there are many ways to defend against these kinds of charges.
The prosecution that is working on building a case is made up of talented professionals who deal with drug cases on a daily basis – defendants need an attorney with similar experience to ensure they are not at a disadvantage when defending themselves in court.
Atlanta drug attorneys can help determine whether or not the search that led to the discovery of the drugs was legal, whether enough evidence exists to prove the drugs were actually in their possession, and whether their rights were protected as required under the law. With the help of an experienced drug lawyer, it is often possible to have the charges against a person lowered, or even dropped entirely.
Georgia Drug Laws
Georgia has exceptionally harsh laws regarding the possession and trafficking of illegal drugs, also known as controlled substances. Georgia law regarding controlled substances can be found in Title 16, Article 2, Chapter 10 of the Georgia Code.
The potential jail sentences and fines a person may face if convicted of a drug-related offense in Georgia will depend on both the type and amount of the controlled substance that was discovered in their possession, as well as prior offenses.
Controlled Substance Schedules
In accordance with federal statutes, Georgia categorizes different types of controlled substances into different schedules, with the harshest penalties applying to the possession of Schedule I and Schedule II, III, and IV substances. Beyond the typical illegal drugs, certain types of prescription medications are also considered controlled substances if a person does not have a valid prescription.
• Schedule I drugs include heroin, peyote, ecstasy, MDMA, marijuana, LSD, and hallucinogenic mushrooms.
• Schedule II drugs include opium, morphine, cocaine, and methamphetamine.
Possession of these types of substances can result in a felony conviction, with prison sentences ranging from two-to-15 years. If a person has prior drug-related offenses, they may be sentenced to up to 30 years in prison which makes contacting an experienced drug attorney in Atlanta imperative.
Possession and Trafficking
In addition to the type of controlled substance discovered in someone’s possession by law enforcement, the amount recovered will also affect the potential penalties a person may face if convicted. If more than a certain amount of a drug is found in an individual’s possession, they can also be charged with drug trafficking, which carries far higher penalties than possession.
For example, possession of less than one ounce of marijuana is a misdemeanor offense in Georgia, resulting in fines of up to $1000 and less than one year of jail time. However, possession of more than one ounce of marijuana is a felony offense.
If convicted of possession of more than 10 pounds of marijuana, a person may be charged with trafficking, which carries a severe mandatory minimum sentence of at least five years of jail time. These mandatory minimum sentences are even higher for other types of controlled substances. The attorney can discuss the specific drug amount cut-offs that apply to each case.
Consulting With A Lawyer
If you are facing trafficking or possession charges in the Atlanta area, you may feel overwhelmed and helpless to defend yourself. Our experienced Atlanta drug lawyers understand that many factors may have played a role in your arrest, and will help mitigate the charges against you.
It is entirely possible to defend against charges of possession or trafficking with the help of an attorney who understands the laws and the legal standards the prosecution must meet to obtain a conviction. You do not have to face drug charges alone: do not delay in obtaining legal representation.