Violation of Georgia Controlled Substance Act (VGCSA) cases are intimidating to face in Georgia because they may result in a criminal record. In many cases, they lead to collateral consequences.

For example, there are often employment consequences from VGCSA convictions. If a person wants to get a good job, having a drug conviction, or a VGCSA conviction on their record is not a good impression for a potential employer or a recruiter.

To further determine the potential consequences of a Georgia drug charge, it is imperative to consult with an experienced attorney as soon as possible. A knowledgeable drug lawyer in Georgia will be able to help an individual combat such penalties by crafting an effective defense strategy.

Social Stigmas and School Considerations

Another category of collateral consequences that may stem from a Georgia drug charge are school consequences. If a person wants to go to a good college, a drug crime conviction can derail those school plans. Admissions counselors consider convictions for drug crimes when they make admission decisions for colleges and universities.

Societal stigmas are another issue. People generally view someone with a drug crime as potentially committing other crimes or collateral crimes including theft and entering autos. A conviction for a drug crime can create a negative societal stigma for someone with a conviction.

Diversion Programs

A Georgia drug crimes attorney may succeed in avoiding potential consequences by keeping the drug crime conviction from appearing on the criminal records permanently.

There are several ways this can be accomplished, including dismissal of the case, pre-trial diversion, drug court, conditional discharge pleas, and the use of the First Offender Act.

A drug lawyer in Georgia may have the means to keep the drug offense off the criminal record especially for a first-time offender by use of the First Offender Act, a conditional discharge plea, or some type of a diversion program. Such programs can help minimize any sort of penalties that an individual may face as a result of their Georgia drug charge.

Constitutional Issues

Drug cases are often filled with constitutional issues related to violation of the Fourth Amendment of the US Constitution which prohibits unreasonable searches and seizures. A Georgia drug lawyer tries to expose potential violations to the citizen’s right against unreasonable search and seizures and reviews the tactics to finds the drugs used by Georgia police officers and the law enforcement.

In VGCSA cases, the drugs are a crucial piece of evidence for the state. Where the suppression of drug evidence is possible, dismissal of the charges becomes likely. An issue with the methods law enforcement used to find drugs can be a Fourth Amendment violation which is the most common.

A qualified Georgia drug lawyer also looks for violations of the Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination and the Sixth Amendment right to counsel. Under the Fifth Amendment of the US Constitution and under the Georgia Constitution, a person who is accused of the crime and is in custody is entitled to a Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination.

This means that a person who was arrested by law enforcement is not required to speak to the police or to give incriminatory information, coupled with the Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination and the Sixth Amendment to counsel.

Importance of Legal Representation

Under the Sixth Amendment right to counsel, a person who has been arrested by law enforcement is entitled to the help of an attorney in all critical stages of the prosecution. That person can request an attorney to be present at any time during questioning by law enforcement. It is important to know that until a person invokes their right to remain silent under the Fifth Amendment or their right to counsel under the Sixth Amendment, law enforcement is free to question the individual.

When an individual requests an attorney prior to questioning, law enforcement is required to honor this request and cannot conduct an interrogation of the subject without a lawyer present. To best understand their rights and avoid any consequences associated with a Georgia drug charge, an individual should contact an attorney as soon as possible.

Benefit of an Attorney

If a person faces a drug charge under the VGCSA statute, they should contact a qualified attorney immediately. If possible, they should speak to them prior to the time of arrest. A person facing such a charge should speak to a lawyer before answering any questions or making any statements to law enforcement.

An accused individual should immediately, upon contact with law enforcement, use the right to remain silent, the right against self-incrimination, and the right to invoke the help of an attorney. By doing so, they can help minimize the consequences of their Georgia drug charge.