Penalties for Drug Crimes

Georgia takes a tough stance on drug crimes, levying harsh penalties for those who are convicted. However, depending on the circumstances of your case, you may be eligible for one of several forms of sentencing, which will result in less time behind bars.


Some drug offenders are eligible for probation, which allows them to remain in the community instead of behind bars. While on probation, the convicted individual must meet certain requirements that could include:

  • Community service hours
  • Attendance at counseling
  • Reporting to a probation officer
  • Paying fines
  • Passing drug and alcohol tests

The length and specific terms of probation vary from case to case.


In some cases, eligible inmates may be allowed to leave jail or prison before serving their entire sentence. They are then on parole, and still under state supervision and must adhere to specific mandates and guidelines to stay out from behind bars.

In Georgia, most drug crimes are eligible for parole, typically after the convicted individual serves one-third of his or her original sentence.

Georgia First Offender

First offenders charged with drug crimes may enter a plea of guilty or no contest and then request to be sentenced to First Offender Treatment. Depending on the judge and the specifics of the case, the defendant may be required to complete jail time, probation or parole.

Conditional Discharge

Conditional discharge may be an option for individuals who have been charged with possession of less than one ounce of marijuana or possession of alcohol by a minor. The defendant will plead guilty but the judge will not render a verdict (or disposition) until the defendant completes certain requirements.

Legal Help in Your Case

If you have been charged with or convicted of a drug crime, it is in your best interest to work with an experienced attorney who can help you navigate the complicated legal landscape. Contact the firm of Wadkins & Wallace in Columbus today.