Drug Charges: "I want to move forward in my life past these drug charges"
Drug related criminal charges can have a serious impact on your life, particularly in the state of Georgia. A conviction can lead to lengthy jail sentences, significant fines, and a permanent criminal record. This can affect your opportunities for employment, housing, and even basic privileges such as voting and owning a firearm. It is important to seek legal assistance and understand your options if you are facing a drug related charge. By taking proactive steps to address the situation, you can mitigate the impact on your life and work towards a brighter future.
Types of Drug Charges in Georgia
Common Drug Charges in Georgia and Their Consequences
- Drug Possession: Possession of a controlled substance can result in a misdemeanor or felony charge, depending on the type and amount of drugs. Penalties may include up to 15 years in prison and fines up to $100,000.
- Possession with Intent to Distribute: This charge involves possessing a controlled substance with the intent to sell or distribute it. Penalties can include up to 30 years in prison and fines up to $1,000,000, depending on the type and amount of drugs involved.
- Drug Trafficking: Trafficking involves the manufacturing, distribution, or possession of large quantities of drugs. Penalties vary depending on the type and amount of drugs involved but can include a minimum of 10 years to life in prison and fines up to $1,000,000.
- Drug Manufacturing: Manufacturing drugs, such as methamphetamine or other controlled substances, can result in severe penalties, including up to 30 years in prison and fines up to $1,000,000.
- Prescription Drug Fraud: Illegally obtaining prescription drugs through forgery, theft, or deception can result in felony charges with penalties of up to five years in prison and fines up to $50,000.
- Marijuana Possession: Possession of marijuana is still illegal in Georgia, with penalties varying based on the amount possessed. For less than an ounce, it's a misdemeanor with up to one year in jail and a fine up to $1,000. For more than an ounce, it's a felony with up to 10 years in prison and fines up to $5,000.
- Sale or Distribution of Marijuana: Selling or distributing marijuana in Georgia can result in felony charges, with penalties ranging from one to 30 years in prison and fines up to $100,000.
Please note that this information is for informational purposes only and should not be considered legal advice. If you're facing drug charges in Georgia or have questions about your specific situation, consult with a qualified attorney.
Drugs Charges We Focus On at Your Law Firm
At Your Law Firm, we focus on helping people who are accused of possession of marijuana, either less than an ounce (misdemeanor) or over an ounce (felony), or possession of a controlled substance. Additionally, our passion is to help people with first time drug charges or arrests. We understand that the court process can be intimidating and complex, and we are here to help guide you through the each step. Courts in Georgia are very big on having you appear in person to each and every court hearing. If you were arrested and are out on bond, you are also held to a high standard of staying out of any sort of trouble and you may even have to report to a pretrial officer and submit to random drug and alcohol screens. We'll help you stay out of trouble while your case is pending, and help you put your best foot forward after the case is said and done.
Options for First Lifetime Arrests or Drug Charges
If you have been charged with a drug offense for the first time in Georgia, you may feel overwhelmed and uncertain about what your options are. However, there are several paths you can take that may help you avoid long-lasting negative consequences.
One option is the pre-trial diversion program, which allows you to complete certain requirements and avoid formal prosecution. Not every county has this option - it is up to the prosecutor's office in each county on whether or not they offer a pre-trial diversion program, and they decide who may or may not take part in it. Usually, a non-refundable application fee is required, along with filling out a questionnaire and signing waivers to submit to drug screens while on the program. You will also normally be required to do a set number of community service hours, have a certain number of clean drug screens, get evaluated for any drug or alcohol abuse issues and follow any and all treatment recommended by the evaluator, and even report to meetings, depending on the county. The benefit of this program is that you do not have to plead guilty - and if you successfully complete the program, the prosecutor will dismiss your drug charges and the arrest could even be restricted from your record (as long as you did not have any other charges associated with it). If you do not complete this program, then you simply go back into the normal court system process, where you will need to decide between accepting a plea deal or taking the case all the way to trial.
Conditional Discharge Plea
Another option for first-time drug offenders is conditional discharge. Conditional discharge is different from a pre-trial diversion program in that you are required to enter a plea of "guilty" to the drug charges, but under conditions that, if met, result in you being discharged from guilty. You may only use this type of plea on your first ever drug charge - if you fail to use it on your first drug charge, you lose the right to use this plea option later, on any subsequent drug charges. The benefit is that if you complete your probations and all conditions - such as fines, community service hours, evaluation for drug or alcohol abuse and follow all recommended treatment, reporting to probation as directed, clean random drug screens - then you will be discharged of all guilt and your arrest and charges will be restricted on your record. However the risk with conditional discharge is that if you fail to complete the conditions of probation, not only will your guilty plea go through and be on your record for life, but the court has the option to re-sentence you to the maximum allowed on your original charges. So for example, if your underlying charge has a maximum jail time of 3 years and a maximum fine of $100,000, but you only were sentenced to 1 year jail served on probation, and a fine of $2,000, then if you failed conditional discharge and were resentenced, you could get up to 2 more years of jail time or up to $98,000 more in fines assessed against you, or both.
By exploring all of your options and working with legal professionals, you can take the steps necessary to move forward and put this behind you.
Consequences for Drug Charges in Georgia
If you have been convicted of a drug misdemeanor in Georgia, it is important to understand the potential consequences that may follow. Typically, a misdemeanor conviction for drug possession will result in a fine of up to $1,000 and jail or probation up to 12 months, along with mandatory drug abuse evaluation with recommended treatment and community service hours. While on probation, you'll submit to random drug screens at your own expense, and report to probation as directed. On the other hand, a felony conviction for drug possession carries much harsher penalties. In addition to longer prison sentences and larger fines, individuals with felony drug convictions may face difficulty finding employment, housing, or receiving government assistance. It is crucial that anyone facing drug charges in Georgia seek legal counsel to navigate the complex legal system and maximize their chances of a favorable outcome.
How We Can Help
If you or a loved one has been accused of a drug related crime in Georgia, Your Law Firm is here to provide legal guidance and support. Our team specializes in helping first-time drug offenders navigate the complexities of the legal system, and we understand the importance of providing compassionate and effective legal representation during this difficult time. Whether you are facing charges for marijuana possession, possession of a controlled substance, or another drug-related offense, we will work tirelessly to protect your rights and pursue the best possible outcome for your case. Contact us today to learn more about how Your Law Firm can help you if you've been accused of a drug-related crime in Georgia.