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What are the legal consequences of drug crime in Georgia?

On Behalf of | Feb 20, 2024 | Criminal Defense |

Drug crimes risk severe legal penalties that can have lasting repercussions for individuals involved. Understanding the legal consequences of drug offenses is crucial for anyone living in or visiting the state.

The Goober State has stringent laws governing the possession, distribution and manufacturing of controlled substances. These laws categorize drugs into schedules according to their potential for abuse and medical use. The severity of penalties hinges on various factors, including the type and quantity of the drug in question and whether the offense occurred near certain locations such as schools or parks.

Classification of controlled substances

Georgia classifies controlled substances into five schedules; Schedule I denotes the most dangerous drugs and Schedule V drugs the least. Examples of drugs in each schedule include:

  • Schedule I: Heroin, LSD, ecstasy
  • Schedule II: Cocaine, methamphetamine, oxycodone
  • Schedule III: Anabolic steroids, ketamine
  • Schedule IV: Xanax, Valium, Ativan
  • Schedule V: Cough medicines containing codeine

Possession of illegal drugs is a serious offense that can result in significant penalties, including fines, probation and incarceration.

Possession of most controlled substances is generally considered a felony. Felony possession carries much harsher penalties, including substantial fines and lengthy prison sentences.

Consequences of drug trafficking

Drug trafficking, or the illegal distribution of controlled substances, is a grave offense and is met with severe legal consequences. Trafficking charges apply when individuals are found to be in possession of large quantities of drugs, typically beyond what is considered for personal use.

  • Schedule I or II Drugs: Trafficking in Schedule I or II drugs can carry a sentence of 1 to 30 years in prison, depending on the quantity involved.
  • Schedule III, IV, or V Drugs: Trafficking in Schedule III, IV, or V drugs carries lesser but still significant penalties, including a sentence ranging from 1 to 10 years.

In addition to prison sentences, individuals convicted of drug trafficking may face substantial fines. These fines depend on the circumstances of the case.

Drug crimes risk significant legal penalties that can have far-reaching consequences for defendants. Therefore, anyone being charged with a drug crime can benefit from enlisting legal guidance from an experienced professional who understands the nuances of Georgia’s drug laws and potential legal defenses for various charges.