Drug Charges in Georgia
From the creation of drugs to having them in your hand, there are a number of crimes that you can be charged with along the way:
Drug manufacturing is the crime of being involved in any step in the drug production process.
Delivery can also be known as drug trafficking or drug distribution. This occurs when there is selling, transporting, or illegally importing unlawful controlled substances.
Selling a drug is the intent and action of distributing and selling the controlled substance. You can also be in possession of a drug with the intent to sell.
Possession of a drug can be either actual possession of the drug, or constructive possession of the drug (when the police believe you have knowledge of, and access, to the drugs).
When does a drug crime become a federal offense?
Drug crimes are dealt with on the state level, but they can become a federal offense as well. This occurs if you cross state lines or if you are selling drugs on government property. The state offenses focus on possession and manufacturing, while federal offenses many times involve selling and transport.
Drug Schedules (Schedule I-V)
Any controlled substance in Georgia is categorized into a schedule, ranging from I-V. The category that the drug falls into depends on how high the chance of abuse is and the kind of effects it has on the person taking it.
- Schedule I: Drugs with a high potential for abuse and no accepted medical use. Examples of schedule I drugs are morphine, LSD, and ecstasy.
- Schedule II: Drugs with a high potential for abuse and the potential for psychological or physical dependence that have accepted medical uses under severe restriction. Examples of schedule II drugs are codeine and heroin.
- Schedule III: Drugs with a lower chance of abuse, low or moderate potential for psychological or physical dependence, and accepted medical use. Examples of schedule III drugs are certain stimulants, depressants, and anabolic steroids.
- Schedule IV: Drugs with a lower chance of abuse, limited potential for psychological or physical dependence, and an acceptable medical use. Examples include Xanax, Valium, and Ambien.
- Schedule V: Drugs with the lowest potential for abuse, limited potential for dependence, and accepted medical use. These drugs may contain some narcotic in them, such as cough medicine with codeine in it.
The penalties for drug charges range based on the severity of the circumstances surrounding your case. Possession of any drug except for marijuana results in a felony. Many charges have mandatory minimum sentences attached. The lower the schedule of the drug, the more severe the penalty is. Consequences can be a hefty fine, probation, random drug testing, as well as jail time.
Why You Need A Criminal Defense Lawyer
Drug charges are a serious crime. Being convicted of a drug charge is something that can have lasting effects on your life. Reaching out to an experienced criminal defense lawyer ensures that you have someone who is fighting for your rights as an advocate. They can strategize on your behalf and fight for lower charges, or possibly the dismissal of your charges.