Drug Crimes

Drug Charges in Georgia

Atlanta Drug Crime Defense Lawyer

A drug conviction is a tough pill to swallow, because it can hurt your chances of getting a job. In Georgia, drug convictions range from probation up to life in prison and a $1 million fine depending on the severity of the case. Therefore, you should contact us to get a free consultation to see what defenses and strategies you have to beat your drug charges.

Drug Crimes

Every drug offense in Georgia is a felony with the exception of possession of marijuana less than an ounce

In Georgia, it is against the law to purchase, possess, or have under your control any controlled substances.  It is also against the law to manufacture, deliver, distribute, dispense, possess with the intent to distribute, or sell a noncontrolled substance or an imitation noncontrolled substance.

Under current Georgia marijuana laws, marijuana isn’t classified as a dangerous drug or as a controlled substance in Schedule I through V. However, Georgia marijuana possession is illegal with a very limited exception.

You don’t have to physically have drugs in your pocket to be charged with drug possession. There are two types of possession: 1) actual or 2) constructive.  “Actual possession” is when you have drugs physically on your person.  You can have “constructive possession” of a drug simply by it being in your car or house.  Also, if there are two or more people who share actual or constructive possession of the drugs, then everyone can be arrested.

Drug Schedules 

Drugs in Georgia are categorized by schedules:

  • Schedule I Drug: These controlled substances are drugs that have a high potential for abuse and have no currently accepted medical use in treatment.  Schedule I substances include drugs such as Heroin, Peyote, GHB, LSD, and MDMA (also known as Molly or Ecstasy).
  •  Schedule II Drug: These controlled substances are drugs that have a high potential for abuse and have a currently accepted medical use in treatment.  Schedule II substances include drugs such as Cocaine, raw Opium, Morphine, Oxycodone, Fentanyl, Methadone, Methamphetamines, and Amphetamine (also known as Speed)
  •  Schedule III Drug: These controlled substances have a potential for abuse less than the substances in Schedule I and Schedule II.  These substances have a currently accepted medical use in treatment.  Schedule III substances include various stimulants and depressants and certain anabolic steroids such as testosterone or ketamine.
  • Schedule IV Drug: These controlled substances have a lower potential for abuse than Schedule III substances and have a currently accepted medical use in treatment.  Schedule IV substances include various stimulants and depressants such as Clonazepam, Diazepam, and Phenobarbital.
  • Schedule V Drug: These controlled substances have a lower potential for abuse than Schedule IV substances and have a currently accepted medical use in treatment.  Schedule V substances include substances containing limited quantities of certain narcotic drugs along with other ingredients for medicinal qualities.  Schedule V substances include low levels of codeine, opium, and ethyl morphine.

Drug Offense Penalties

The fines and penalties are based on the schedule drug category:

  • Schedule I Drug: 1 year to 15 years in prison. If you’re convicted of “manufacturing, delivering, distributing, dispensing, administering, selling, or possessing with intent to distribute any controlled substance,” then it’s 5 years t0 30 years in prison for the first conviction. If it’s a second conviction, then it’s 10 years to 40 years in prison or life imprisonment.
  •  Schedule II Drug: 1 year to 15 years in prison.
  • Schedule III Drug: 1 year to 3 years in prison.  If it’s your third or subsequent conviction, then it’s 1 year to 5 years in prison. If you’re convicted of “manufacturing, delivering, distributing, dispensing, administering, selling, or possessing with intent to distribute any controlled substance,” then it’s 1 year t0 10 years in prison.
  • Schedule IV Drug: 1 year to 3 years in prison.  If it is your third or subsequent offense, then 1 year to 5 years in prison. If you’re convicted of “manufacturing, delivering, distributing, dispensing, administering, selling, or possessing with intent to distribute any controlled substance,” then it’s 1 year t0 10 years in prison.
  • Schedule V Drug: 1 year to 3 years in prison.  If it is your third or subsequent conviction, then it’s 1 year to 5 years in prison. If you’re convicted of “manufacturing, delivering, distributing, dispensing, administering, selling, or possessing with intent to distribute any controlled substance,” then it’s 1 year t0 10 years in prison.
  • Counterfeit substance: 1 year to 2 years in prison for possession of a counterfeit substance. If you’re convicted of “manufacturing, delivering, distributing, dispensing, administering, selling, or possessing with intent to distribute” a counterfeit substance, then it’s 1 year t0 10 years in prison.
  • Marijuana More than an Ounce: 1 year to 10 years in prison.
  • Marijuana Less than an Ounce: misdemeanor or public works up to 12 months.

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