What to Expect if Charged with a Drug Crime
Upon arrest for a Georgia drug crime, the person should expect to be incarcerated until the time of the preliminary hearing, or bond is set. This is the first crucial stage that occurs at a bond hearing.
A Georgia drug lawyer can argue bond factors under a care called Ayala. Those bond factors are whether the subject is a risk of flight, whether they have substantial ties to the community, whether they have a prior felony record, whether they are at risk to re-offend, and whether they are risks to intimidate witnesses.
To best understand what to expect after being charged with a drug crime in Georgia, it is imperative to consult with an attorney immediately who can help craft a defense against the prosecution’s allegations.Intimidating Witnesses
In Georgia, Ayala bond factors relate to all crimes for which a person is charged, from murder to drug offenses. In a murder case, a person might be a risk to intimidate a witness when multiple people saw the murder happen. In a drug crime case, there are witnesses who can be intimidated by other co-conspirators in the case, others who observed the drug offense occur, and law enforcement witnesses.
With law enforcement witnesses, there is a greater perception that they would be intimidated because they chose law enforcement as their profession. Such elements of the case can be better explained using an experienced drug attorney.Administering Drug Charges
Three courts generally have jurisdiction over drug crimes and VGCSA possession of marijuana cases involving less than one ounce of marijuana. The municipal courts of the state of Georgia have jurisdiction which is concurrent with the state courts and superior courts of Georgia.
A municipal court can handle minor drug crimes. For more serious charges, the superior courts have jurisdiction over all felony cases involving marijuana or dangerous drugs or Schedule 1, 2, 3, or 4 drugs. An individual can expect to be seen in one of these courts after being charged with a Georgia drug crime.Appearance on a Record
When a person is arrested for a crime in Georgia, they can expect several things to occur. Fingerprints are taken and added to a national database and a record is created on the National Crime Information Center (NCIC) database.
At that point, the arrest is a historic event and is recorded in the database. The arrest stays on a person’s criminal record forever in most cases. However, that is not the end of the story because a qualified drug attorney can look at affecting the disposition of the case.
In a case where a disposition is the result of a conditional discharge first offender or some other type of dismissal, it may be possible for the record to be restricted. That does not mean the record is erased. It means that the record can be restricted from people outside the court system and law enforcement. For example, employers, schools, and anyone who is non-law enforcement related cannot see the record if a drug attorney has the record restricted under Georgia law.