The state of Georgia takes possession of illegal drugs very seriously. With the exception of marijuana, possession of controlled substances listed under federal law as well as the Georgia Controlled Substances Act will lead to a felony charge. The Georgia Controlled Substances Act classifies drugs into “schedules” just as the federal government does. These schedules are based on the drugs’ potential for abuse and whether they have any medical value. At the top of the schedules is Schedule I as the most dangerous with no medical value down to Schedule V which is considered the least dangerous.
Examples of controlled substances include drugs such as heroin, cocaine, methamphetamine, fentanyl, and other street drugs as well as prescription drugs, such as opioids, other painkillers, steroids, and more. Anyone found with a prescription drug that has been obtained fraudulently will face criminal charges just as they would when found with an illegal street drug.
Faced with a drug possession charge in or around Gwinnett County? Get a free case evaluation at Daniels & Taylor by contacting us online or at (770) 285-1673.
How Are Drug Possession Charges Penalized?
The penalties you will face for a drug felony charge will depend on the type of drug involved as well as the quantity and whether it is a first or subsequent conviction. If you are found in possession of a larger specific amount of illegal drugs, you may be charged with possession with intent to distribute; this is a more serious charge than possession for one’s own personal use.
Penalties in a first offense are as follows:
- If you are convicted of possession of Schedule I or II drugs for self-use, you will face between two and 15 years in a state prison. Second or subsequent charges could result in prison times of up to as much as 30 years.
- If you are convicted of possession of Schedule III, IV, or V drugs for self-use, you will face one to five years in a state prison. Second or subsequent charges could result in one up to 10 years in prison.
- You will also lose your driver’s license for six months on a first offense. On a second offense, your license suspension will be for a year and for third and subsequent offenses, the suspension will likely be longer.
Marijuana Charges in Georgia
While other states have decriminalized the medical and recreational use of marijuana, you will face a misdemeanor charge in Georgia for possession of less than an ounce. This is punishable by up to a year in jail and/or fines of up to $1,000. If you are found in possession of more than ounce, you will face a felony charge carrying penalties of one to 10 years in prison and fines of up to $5,000.
Collateral Damage for Drug Possession
Aside from the criminal penalties listed above, being convicted of a drug possession will land you with a permanent criminal record. Such a record can make it difficult to obtain employment, housing, student loans, admission to higher educational institutions, and difficult to obtain or hold on to a professional license, such as for selling real estate, working as a teacher, nurse, pharmacist, plumber, electrician, and in other careers.
Get Professional Help from Daniels & Taylor, P.C.
Facing a criminal charge is a life-changing event that demands the professional services of a trusted attorney. At Daniels & Taylor, P.C., you can work with a criminal defense lawyer who has decades of experience that has led to successful results. Our legal team understands the stakes and how vital it is to ensure that you have every legal advantage available to fight hard for your freedom and future.
Contact us at (770) 285-1673 to discuss your case with an attorney today. We are located in Lawrenceville and serve Gwinnett County.