With the ongoing drug concerns in Georgia and all over the county, Georgia takes the possession, manufacture, and sale of illegal drugs very seriously. As a result, the penalties for the possession of even a small quantity of illegal drugs are harsh.
When people are charged with the possession, trafficking, or sale of an illegal substance, they are often scared and disoriented. Forsyth County drug lawyers help clients to better understand the nature of what they are facing. With this understanding, skilled defense attorneys are better able to form nuanced and thorough defenses tailored to their particular circumstances.
Laws Concerning Illegal Drugs in Georgia
It is illegal in Georgia to possess any amount of any drug listed in the drug schedules of Georgia law. This includes marijuana and prescription drugs for which a person does not have a valid doctor’s prescription. Georgia Code 16-13-30 describes the penalties for possession and also distribution of drugs. This is what is known as a catch-all statute. Therefore, a defendant may argue that the drugs were not for sale but only for their personal use. This may have a role in potential sentencing but will have no effect on the determination of their guilt.
Georgia Code 16-13-30 covers all illegal drugs with the exception of heroin and opiates. With the growing opiate crisis in the country, many states, including Georgia, have chosen to deal with heroin offenses in a more severe way. Georgia Code 16-13-31 treats the possession of at least four grams of heroin as drug trafficking, carrying a penalty of five years minimum in jail and a fine of $50,000.
The laws concerning heroin are consistent in severity with the laws concerning trafficking of all other illegal drugs in Georgia. For example, the possession of 28 grams or more of cocaine is considered to be trafficking. In sum, it is the quantity of the illegal drugs that determines whether a person is charged with illegal possession or trafficking. But other factors like cash and quantity may result in an intent to sell the case.
Forsyth County drug attorneys work with clients charged with both possession and trafficking to protect their financial and personal freedoms.
Potential Drug Crime Penalties
The penalties for drug offenses in Georgia are harsh. The exact penalties for possession of illegal drugs are varied, but generally, correspond to the amount and type of drugs found. Another contributing factor is the intent of the person accused. Possessing less than one ounce of a Schedule I narcotic carries a potential sentence of one year in jail with a maximum of three. This sentencing structure applies to marijuana as well with a maximum term of one year in jail for the possession of even one ounce of the drug. Forsyth County drug lawyers work with clients to better understand the nature of their charges and the potential penalties.
Penalties for drug trafficking are universally more severe than the penalties for possession. Trafficking is implied as the intent to distribute the drugs on a large-scale due to the quantity of drugs found. Sentences require significant prison time with a minimum of five years in prison for a marijuana charge or up to a minimum of 25 years for over 400 grams of cocaine. Once again, the charges are too numerous to list in full here, but all require jail time and significant fines.
Contacting a Forsyth County Drug Attorney
Whether a person is charged with the misdemeanor charge possessing of one ounce of marijuana or the felony of trafficking heroin, Forsyth County drug lawyers are available to help. Dedicated lawyers work with clients to examine their case, dissect the evidence, and formulate a defense that works toward a positive outcome.
Every case is unique, and from arraignment to preliminary hearings, to a potential trial, drug attorneys in Forsyth County work diligently and conscientiously to protect clients’ liberty.