Controlled substances are regulated under the Georgia Controlled Substances Act and federally under the Controlled Substances Act. Although there is legislation at both the state and federal levels governing the possession of controlled substance, there are still ways to build a solid defense for someone who has been charged with this crime.
Possession of Marijuana
In the state of Georgia, controlled substances are treated differently according to what schedule they fall under. However, marijuana has its own set of rules.
Marijuana is considered a Schedule I drug, but it does not follow the same guidelines as other Schedule I drugs. Possessing less than one ounce of marijuana is a misdemeanor that can potentially lead to up to 12 months in jail, $1,000 fine, and probation, along with a suspended license.
More than one ounce is a felony that, in addition to the suspended license, leads to 1-10 years in prison and up to a $5,000 fine.
Intent to Sell, Deliver, or Distribute
Depending on the amount of marijuana or other drugs you possess, you could be charged with the intent to sell, deliver, or distribute. Up to 10 pounds could result in 1-10 years in prison with a $5,000 maximum fine. The more in possession, the higher those numbers get.
If they determine you possessed with the intent to sell, deliver, or distribute while you were within 1,000 feet of a school, housing project, drug-free zone, or park, that is another felony offense that could lead to up to 40 years in prison and $40,000 in fines.
Depending on the circumstances of your case, there may be a way to remove these charges against you in Georgia. If this is a first-time drug offense, the court could invoke a probationary period. This could also include mandatory drug treatment. As long as the rules of the defendant’s probation are followed, the charges will be dismissed and there will be no record of this offense.
Procedural defenses are often the best against drug possession offenses. If there is potential to show that the arresting officers violated a law, your drug charge could be dismissed. Here are some of the most common:
- Illegal Search and Seizure – An officer must have a probable cause or judge-issued warrant and if they don’t have either, the search is illegal without consent given by the defendant.
- Entrapment – There must be a strong enough case to prove that the defendant would not have committed the crime had the officer not pressured the into it.
- Planted Drugs – There must be proof, and a jury will most likely hold an officer’s word higher than the defendant’s.
- Drugs are Missing – Without the drugs present in court, it will be impossible to accurately verify how much was in possession and if the substance is actually a drug.
- Drugs Belonged to Someone Else – Because possession does not necessarily mean ownership, your attorney may argue that you had no knowledge of the drugs or that they did not belong to you.
Our team has a track record of achieving successful outcomes for clients facing possession charges.
Charges related to drug possession can be serious, especially if you are facing a felony. Our firm will fight for you every step of the way. Our experienced team will help learn the facts of your case and apply the best defenses unique to you and your charges.
Contact us today if you are facing these charges to learn how we can help.