Being arrested or accused of a drug crime can leave you worried over the effects that a conviction may have on your work, family, and future. Georgia laws treat drug offenders harshly, often imposing stiff fines or lengthy time in jail. For this reason, it is important that you consult a Dunwoody drug crime attorney.
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At Schwartz Trial Law, criminal defense lawyer Ryan Schwartz understands the complexities of the laws in Georgia and the risks you may face. He builds strong defense strategies by looking at the facts of the case and getting to know the details behind the charge. In this way, he can better understand what you are going through and better anticipate the prosecutor's case against you.
Schedule your consultation when you call our Dunwoody drug crime lawyer.
Georgia marijuana laws state that while the illegal nature of marijuana is still strictly enforced, a recent bill on July 1st, 2019 allows the limited use of medicinal marijuana with extremely low levels of THC. However, there are still harsh penalties enforced upon those caught in possession, distributing, or illegally cultivating plants.
- Possession of 1 oz or less - Misdemeanor, up to 1 year and/or $1k in fines
- Possession of 1 oz to 10 lbs - Felony, up to 1 to 10 years
- Possession of over 10 lbs can be considered trafficking - Felony, up to 1 to 10 years and/or $100k in fines
Drug possession includes both actual and constructive possession, and it generally results in felony charges. Actual possession may be charged when an individual is found with drugs on his or her person, or in another circumstance in which it is clear that the individual knowingly had control over the drugs. Constructive possession occurs when the accused had the power to control the drugs, but they were not in his or her possession, such as if the drugs were in their drawer at home.
Possession with intent to distribute is a more severe felony than possession and is usually charged based on circumstantial evidence, such as possessing drugs along with a large amount of cash or other paraphernalia that would suggest an intent to sell the drugs rather than to use them personally.
Generally, a conviction for drug possession will result in at least one year of jail time, and it may even result in up to 30 years of jail for a conviction involving a Schedule I substance.
The penalties for drug possession and possession with intent to distribute depend on the type of drug possessed by the defendant. Illegal drugs are divided into five different categories, known as schedules, under Georgia law. For example, according to Georgia drug laws, Schedule I drug possession (heroin, LSD, and cocaine) is subject to harsher penalties than Schedule V possession (medicines containing codeine).
Trafficking is the most severe drug crime and can be charged when there is possesses of a significant quantity of drugs and it appears they were brought in from outside the state or that the defendant intended to distribute them outside the state. These drug trafficking cases are complex and they vary greatly depending on the type of drug and the purity of the drug.
In order to make an arrest for possession, police will often search you or your home and belongings, seize the drugs, and test them to determine what they are. At each step in this process, your rights may be violated and errors can occur that may allow your Dunwoody drug crime attorney to get the charges reduced or even dropped.
Remember that all citizens are entitled to protection from unlawful searches and seizures under the Fourth Amendment of the Constitution, meaning that the police must have a basis to search before doing so. A failure to abide by these protections may result in a drug charge being dismissed.
Drug convictions can have a lasting effect on your freedom and livelihood. Despite these harsh consequences, the criminal justice system frequently fails to provide defendants with the advocacy that they deserve. As a former prosecutor who has seen the process from the inside, Dunwoody drug crime lawyer Ryan Schwartz understands how these charges are treated by the Georgia judicial system. At Schwartz Trial Law, we can work with you to explore your options and vigorously assert your rights. Our criminal law firm has years of experience with Georgia drug laws. Ryan Schwartz also is available to people who need a theft offenses attorney or guidance in a wide range of other criminal matters. He represents defendants throughout the Atlanta metro area, as well as in Lawrenceville, Gainesville, Decatur, Woodstock, Johns Creek, Suwannee, and Jonesboro, among other Georgia cities.
Call us or contact us online to schedule a consultation with a drug crime lawyer at our criminal defense law firm.