Drug Crimes in Georgia
In Georgia, drug crimes
range in different severity levels and carry a wide scope of penalties from fines, probation and even jail or prison sentences. Hiring a knowledgeable and experienced attorney who understands the seriousness and the needs of your case is crucial and even lifesaving. Whether you are being charged with a misdemeanor Possession of Marijuana or a Trafficking charge, The Law Offices of Shequel Ross, LLC is ready to fight for you.
Here is what you need to know:
Understanding the Types of Drug Crimes
What are drug crimes? In Georgia, it is important to understand how drugs are classified as illegal substances. Illegal drugs or controlled substances are organized into five groups known as schedules. Here is how each schedule is broken down under the Official Code of Georgia Annotated (O.C.G.A).
O.C.G.A. §16-13-25: Schedule I substances are drugs with a high chance for abuse with no medical use. For example:
O.C.G.A. §16-13-26: Schedule II substances are drugs with a high chance for abuse and could lead to either psychological or physical dependency. For example:
O.C.G.A. §16-13-27-29: Schedule III, IV and V are drugs with a lower chance for abuse and addiction. For example:
- Anabolic Steroids
What does drug possession mean in Georgia? Possession is the act of a person having personal and physical control of an illegal substance or substances. Whether that be on your persons or in your vicinity (i.e. your car or home).
Types of possession charges include, but are not limited to:
- Possession of Marijuana
- Possession of Cocaine
- Possession of Heroin
- Possession of MDMA
What type of penalties can one receive for drug possession in Georgia? When it comes to your first drug offense in Georgia, a misdemeanor possession charge is more lenient when it comes to the law and sentencing.
O.C.G.A. §16-13-2: A misdemeanor Possession of Marijuana of one ounce or less will carry a sentence imprisonment not to exceed 12 months or a fine not to exceed $1,000.00, both, or community service not to exceed 12 months.
Sales and Distribution:
What is sales and distribution? In Georgia, sales and distribution is the act of selling and delivering illegal drugs. Under O.C.G.A. §16-13-72, it is illegal for any person to possess an illegal drug with the intent to sale or distribute it.
What are the penalties for sales and distribution in Georgia? The penalties for Schedule I or a narcotic drugs and Schedule II, will carry a sentence of two years, but or more than 15 years. If convicted of a second or subsequent offense, this offense will carry a sentence of 5-30 years.
For Schedule III, IV, or V will be guilty of a felony and upon conviction will be sentenced by imprisonment for 1-10 years.
What is drug trafficking in Georgia? Drug trafficking is the act of transporting or importing illegal drugs. Did you know, depending on the quantity (weight) of the drugs that can determine whether it is considered drug trafficking?
According to O.C.G.A. §16-13-31(a)(1) - Any person who knowingly sells, manufactures, delivers, or brings into the state of Georgia, or who is knowingly in possession of 28 grams or more of cocaine, is in violation of this article and commits the felony offense of trafficking in cocaine.
Compared to marijuana, under O.C.G.A. §16-13-31(c)(1) - Any person who knowingly sells, manufactures, grows, delivers, brings into the state of Georgia, or has possession of a quantity of marijuana exceeding10 pounds, commits the offense of trafficking in marijuana.
What are the penalties for trafficking in Georgia? The penalty for drug trafficking depends on the quantity of the drugs and the schedule.
The trafficking of cocaine, a schedule II substance, carries a sentence of 10-25 years and a fine ranging from $200,000.00 - $1,000,000.00 for quantities ranging from 28 grams - 400 grams.
The trafficking of marijuana, a schedule I substance, carries a sentence of 5-15 years and a fine ranging from $100,000.00 - $1,000,000.00 for quantities ranging from 10 pounds -10,000 pounds.