Among the most heavily covered and sensationalized cases in the media are those involving illegal drugs. Unfortunately, when someone is charged with the possession, distribution, or manufacture of drugs, they are often viewed as guilty before the trial even begins.
On top of the media scrutiny, Georgia takes the possession, manufacture, and sale of illegal drugs extremely seriously. As a result, the penalties for the possession of even a small amount of illegal drugs are harsh.
Roswell drug lawyers help people better understand the nature of what they are facing and try to form a thorough and comprehensive defense. Contact a qualified injury attorney for more information.
Laws Concerning Illegal Drugs in Georgia
The list of substances which are illegal in Georgia is extensive. This includes narcotics, marijuana, and even improperly possessed prescription drugs. It is not only illegal to possess these drugs, but also to manufacture or sell the drugs. This all-encompassing law is what is known as a catch-all statute.
Therefore, while a defendant may argue that the drugs were not for sale, but only for their personal use to make a case for a lesser punishment in potential sentencing, this will have no effect on whether they were found guilty during their trial. It is therefore important to concentrate the defense on discrediting the police’s actions or arguing evidentiary motions.
Heroin and Drug Trafficking
Georgia Code covers all illegal drugs with the exception of heroin and opiates. Many states, including Georgia, have chosen to deal with heroin offenses in a more severe way. Georgia Code 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 simple possession of 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 crack cocaine is considered to be trafficking. In short, it is the quantity of the illegal drugs that determines whether a person is charged with illegal possession or trafficking, not what they were actually doing with the drugs.
A Roswell drug attorney works with people charged with both possession and trafficking to protect their financial and personal freedoms.
Potential Penalties for Drug Offenses
The penalties for drug offenses in Georgia are harsh. Georgia Code describes the potential penalties for possession of illegal drugs. The exact penalties vary, but generally, correspond to the amount and type of drugs found. Another contributing factor is the intent of the person accused. If the prosecutor can demonstrate that a defendant possessed the drugs with the intent to distribute, the minimum penalty is five years in prison. Possessing less than one ounce of a Schedule I narcotic carries a mandatory sentence of one year in jail with a maximum of three. This sentencing structure applies to marijuana as well with a minimum term of one year in jail for the possession of even an ounce of the drug.
The list of penalties is extensive and skilled Roswell attorneys can help explain why a person has been accused of their particular charges.
Georgia Code 16-13-31 is the law describing the potential penalties for drug trafficking. These 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 amount of drugs found. Sentences always require significant prison time with a minimum of five years in prison for a marijuana charge or up to a minimum of twenty-five years for over 400 grams of cocaine.
How a Roswell Drug Lawyer Can Help
Whether a person is charged with the misdemeanor charge possessing of one ounce of marijuana or the felony of trafficking heroin, Roswell drug lawyers are available to help. They work with people by listening to their side of the story, examining the prosecution’s case, and making all necessary evidentiary motions to try to discredit the state’s case.
The facts of every case are unique and the attorneys examine every one of them with a fresh perspective and ingenuity to try to form an effective defense. Every step of the process is crucial from arraignment and bail hearings, to pre-trial motions, to the final trial. Contact a Roswell drug lawyer today to see how they can work with you to try to protect your liberties.