The Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) reports that 120 people in the U.S. die of a drug overdose every day. While every state has laws that prohibit possessing, manufacturing, and selling drugs, possession of a controlled substance continues to be a serious issue in America, and it’s important to understand what constitutes drug possession and potential charges or penalties you could face if convicted.
Drug Possession in Georgia
Being caught with illegal drugs is a serious matter. How you’re charged and the penalties you receive depend on how much of a drug you’re caught with, how you plan to use the drug, if you’re authorized to use a certain drug, and if you have any prior offenses. In Georgia, the state could charge you with:
- Possession for personal use. If a person is found with 1 ounce or less of marijuana, for example, the offense is a misdemeanor—punishable by up to 12 months in prison or up to 12 months of community service. Anything above an ounce is considered a felony offense, which results in heftier penalties.
- Possession with intent to distribute. If police catch a person with 10 pounds or less of marijuana, they will assume he did not intend to use it all himself. Possession of this amount could result in a minimum of 1 year and a maximum of 10 years in prison. Penalties increase with the amount of a drug in possession, close proximity to schools or parks, and repeat offenses.
Note that other drugs such as cocaine come with more serious consequences. For example, if you’re caught with any amount of cocaine, you’ll be facing an immediate felony charge and 2 – 15 years in prison.
Drug Possession Consequences
Georgia outlines prison and monetary penalties for those convicted of drug possession. However, consequences extend past the courtroom. Whether you’re convicted of a misdemeanor or a felony, a drug possession charge is a serious blemish on your criminal record. In the long-term, these offenses could make it difficult for you to:
- Acquire certain jobs
- Find a place to live
- Maintain long-term employment
- Shed the stigma among friends and family
Drug Possession Charges Require Legal Help
If you’re being accused of a drug possession charge, it’s important you consult with a skilled lawyer as soon as possible. The legal team at Duffy & Feemster has served our clients and community since 1950, and we can help you, too. Start a live online chat with one of our representatives to begin a discussion about your case.