Federal and state governments are currently taking a hard stance when it comes to drug charges and offer very little leniency in these cases. Although drug charges can be prosecuted as either a felony or a misdemeanor, the jail time and fines involved are often substantial.
If you have been charged with a drug-related crime then you should contact our law firm immediately. Our criminal defense attorneys have the years of experience you will need to fight your charges, perhaps getting them reduced or even dismissed entirely.What Exactly is a Drug Charge?
In Georgia, a drug charge would be a crime related to the possession, manufacture or distribution of controlled substances. If you do not have a prescription for a drug then it is also illegal to possess, manufacture or distribute them as well.
There are various types of drug charges in the state of Georgia and they include:
- Being under the influence of drugs
- Driving under the influence of drugs
- Possession with intent to sell
- Trafficking in drugs and drug-related products
- Prescription fraud
- Cultivation, manufacture, and distribution of drugs
The three most common drug offenses in Georgia are:
- Possession – Possession can vary in severity depending on many different factors. The main two are the type of drug found in your possession and how much of it there was. It also makes a difference if you were near a school zone, if you have previous drug convictions or if the police suspect that you were trying to sell the drugs. If you have a charge of possession with intent to sell, then the penalties and fines will be much harsher.
- Drug trafficking – This is similar to possession with intent to sell but on a much larger scale. It involves selling, transporting, smuggling and importing drugs across international or state borders and the government takes it very seriously. Because of the nature of the act, trafficking drug-related products or drugs can easily turn into a federal offense.
- Prescription fraud – This involves attempting to illegally obtain legal drugs like painkillers, often with the help of forged or altered prescriptions, and it is a growing problem in many states.
Georgia law enforcement treats most drug possession charges are felonies, but possession of less than one ounce of marijuana is considered a misdemeanor. Simple possession is not treated as severely as possession with intent to distribute, due to the quantity of the substance involved.
In general, felony possession of a controlled substance is punishable by up to 15 years in prison in Georgia, with subsequent convictions punishable with up to 30 years in prison. Misdemeanor possession of marijuana is punishable by up a year in prison and a fine of up to $1,000.00.
The penalties for manufacturing drugs varies depending on who was involved in manufacturing or growing the drugs, the type of drug that was being manufactured, and the amount of drug that was being manufactured. In most cases, the penalty is up to 30 years in prison, with a subsequent conviction potentially leading to life imprisonment.
Prescription fraud is always considered a felony crime. If you are found to have altered or forged a prescription, you could be punished with up to 8 years in prison and a fine of up to $50,000.00.Contact a Criminal Defense Lawyer Today
If you or someone you know has been accused of a drug offense, now is not the time to go it alone. Drug charges are a serious criminal matter in Georgia, and you need someone with experience representing clients in your situation, someone who can help you get a good outcome for your criminal case. Contact our law office today for a free consultation.