All drug charges have serious criminal penalties associated with them. Therefore, if you have been charged with a drug crime in the State of Georgia, it is imperative that you seek out experienced legal counsel to represent you throughout your case.
No matter what drug crime you have been charged with, an experienced Marietta drug lawyer can help to safeguard all of your legal and Constitutional rights while your case is pending. A distinguished defense attorney may also be able to help you formulate legal defenses to your charges and represent you in court.
Felony and Misdemeanor Substance Offenses
Georgia drug crimes are generally classified into two categories; felonies and misdemeanors. Generally speaking, felonies are crimes which are punishable by more than one year of incarceration. Misdemeanors, on the other hand, are generally punishable by up to one year of incarceration or by a fine or another penalty. Felonies are prosecuted in Cobb County Superior Court. Marietta Municipal Court can only prosecute misdemeanor marijuana.
Many drug crimes can be classified as either felonies or misdemeanors, depending upon the classification of the drug, the amount of the drug at issue, and whether the person is charged with simple drug possession, drug sale, or drug trafficking. All of these factors can also play a role in determining a criminal defendant’s likely sentence and the likely penalties upon conviction.
Types of Drug Charges
Georgia drug crimes can be classified into one or more of the following categories:
- Drug possession crimes – A defendant may be charged with actual possession when drugs are found directly on the defendant’s person. A defendant may be charged with constructive possession when drugs are found in a motor vehicle, home, or some other area within the defendant’s immediate vicinity
- Drug possession with intent to distribute – A defendant may be charged with drug possession with intent to distribute when the drugs found were of a sufficient quantity to presume that the defendant intended to sell them. This is especially true if drug paraphernalia, such as scales, are found along with the drugs
- Drug trafficking crimes – A defendant may be charged with drug trafficking if the drugs that were found weighed a certain amount. Upon conviction, the defendant will likely face a mandatory minimum jail sentence, along with fines
Penalties for Drug Convictions
Penalties upon conviction for a Georgia drug charge depend largely upon the drug classification, the type and quantity of the drug(s) at issue, the nature and circumstances of the charge, and the number of prior drug offenses or convictions. Some of the most common types of penalties imposed in Georgia drug cases include fines, incarceration, community service, and mandatory attendance at drug abuse treatment programs. A Marietta drug lawyer can attempt to mitigate the charges that a person may face.
Defenses to Drug Charges
All drug crimes – from simple drug possession to drug trafficking charges – have legal defenses associated with them. Some of the most common defenses to drug charges include the following:
- Improper Miranda warnings
- Illegal search or seizure of the drugs
- Drugs not in plain view
- Improper or illegal traffic stop
- Lack of probable cause
- Improper interrogation techniques used by police or investigators
- Mistaken identity
Contact a Marietta Drug Lawyer Today
Drug crimes are very fact-specific. An experienced Marietta drug lawyer may be able to examine the individual facts and circumstances of your case and help you to formulate legal defenses to your charges. A Cobb County drug lawyer with relationships both inside and outside the courtroom will help with your defense.
A drug attorney may also be able to assist you with obtaining a dismissal of your drug charge, a reduction of your drug charge (i.e. by way of a plea deal with the prosecution), and/or a penalty reduction upon conviction.