Georgia Drug Crime Penalties
Criminal drug charges and their penalties and consequences will depend on the type of drug involved, the amount involved, where the drugs were found, if they were transported across state lines, and whether there was any other alleged criminal activity involved. This means that penalties can range from conditional discharge where the charge is dismissed upon successful completion of a treatment program, all the way up prison for up to 40 years or life imprisonment.
Possession of 1 oz or less of marijuana is a misdemeanor, with a maximum of 1 year in prison, and fines of up to $1,000. In addition, a possession conviction may result in losing your driver's license for 6 months on a first offense, 1 year for a second offense, and 2 years for a third offense.
Possession of more than 1 ounce is a felony, with from 1-10 years in prison. Possession, sale or cultivation of more than 10 lbs is a felony with 5-30 years in prison, and fines up to $100,000. More than 2,000 lbs has a minimum of 7 years in prison, up to 30 years, with fines up to $2,500,000. More than 10,000 lbs of marijuana could result in up to 30 years in prison, and fines of up to $1 million.
Cultivation, sale or delivery of marijuana, or possession of marijuana with the intent to distribute within a school zone, park, housing project, or in a gun free zone is punishable by 20 to 40 years incarceration, with up to a $40,000 fine. Possession of marijuana paraphernalia can carry a $1,000 fine, and up to 1 year in prison.
Cocaine, Heroin and Schedule I or II Drugs
Possession: Possession of Schedule I and II drugs, including heroin, MDMA, crack cocaine or psychedelic mushrooms can result in 2 to 15 years in prison on a first offense. A second offense can mean from 5 to 30 years in prison, and some serious fines.
Manufacture, deliver, distribute, sell, or possess with the intent to distribute: If charged for more than simple possession of Schedules I, and II drugs, the penalties are greater, and can can result in 5 to 30 years in prison on a first offense. A second offense can mean from 10 to 40 years in prison.
Trafficking: The penalties for trafficking in drugs will depend on the quantity of drugs involved. Trafficking in cocaine can result in a minimum jail time of 10 years for less than 200 grams, to a 25 year minimum sentence involving more than 400 grams of cocaine or cocaine mixture. Trafficking in amphetamines can carry a minimum sentence of from 10 to 25 years, with up to a $1 million fine.
Schedule III, IV and V Drugs
Possession: Possession of other drugs listed under Schedules III, IV and IV, including including Ambien, Valium, or Xanax can result in 1 to 5 years in prison on a first offense. A second offense can mean from 1 to 10 years in prison, and some serious fines.
Manufacture, deliver, distribute, sell, or possess with the intent to distribute: If charged for more than simple possession of schedules III, IV and IV drugs, the penalties are greater, and can result in 1 to 10 years in prison.
Rohypnol: However, Flunitrazepam, also known as Rohypnol, a potential date rape drug, is treated more harshly than other Schedule IV drugs. Possession of Rohypnol can carry imprisonment of from 2 to 15 years in prison on a first offense, with 5 to 30 years on a second offense. Selling or possessing with the intent to distribute can result in a sentence of 5 to 30 years on a first offense, up to 10 to 40 years on a second offense.
Federal Drug Crimes
Bringing drugs across state lines, either bringing drugs into Georgia, taking drugs out of Georgia, or even just driving through Georgia with drugs, can implicate federal drug laws. Federal drug charges are handled in federal court, and any prison sentence will be served at a federal penitentiary.
Using a Minor to Sell Drugs
There are enhanced penalties for the use of a minor under the age of 17 to distribute or sell drugs, including marijuana. This is a felony charge, and punishable by up to 20 years in prison, in addition to $20,000 in fines.
Drug Crime Defense
No matter what the criminal charge is, there are valid defenses available to someone charged with drug crime. The available defenses will depend on the individual case. An experienced Georgia drug crime lawyer will investigate each client's individual case, analyze available defenses, review all records, and develop a defense strategy to have the charges reduced or dismissed.
Some people charged with a drug crime may be eligible for a diversion program. Upon successfully completing the diversion program, which may involve drug treatment, drug testing, and other probationary requirement, the charges may be dismissed. Charges may also be reduced for a person who provides substantial assistance in identification or conviction of an accomplice. Your defense lawyer will be able to lobby for your eligibility for such a diversion program.
Your Georgia Drug Crime Lawyers
At Kuttner & Associates, our highest priority is to get your drug charge dismissed as soon as possible. By having your case dismissed early on, you can avoid ever having to go and hear the criminal indictment in court. We are former drug crime prosecutors and know the right approach to winning every individual case, all the way through trial. Don't risk your freedom. Call Kuttner & Associates today for a free consultation, at 404-333-5009.