Some years ago in order to combat those involved in the sale of drugs, the Georgia Legislature developed possession with intent laws for people who have drugs within their possession with the intent to sell them. Over time, however, the Legislature realized that there was also another category of people higher up who sold drugs to dealers before they reached consumers. This category is that of “volume dealers” which involves people who move large quantities of drugs from state to state or city to city.
In Atlanta and throughout the rest of Georgia, cases involving volume dealers are taken extremely seriously and often carry severe penalties involving many years of jail time and extremely large fines. As a result, it is imperative that those charged with any drug trafficking offenses consult with an Atlanta volume dealer lawyer to go over their case and how a defense can be built. A drug lawyer in Atlanta can also help by providing legal guidance in these situations and minimizing the harm and risk of the particular charge. To discuss your case and what actions may be taken, call and schedule a consultation today.
Over the past ten years, there is a greatly increased frequency in the Atlanta area of people being charged with the trafficking of drugs. This is a reflection of the fact that Atlanta has become a hub for drug distribution. Quite often drugs are moving up from Florida and the Gulf Coast of the United States through Atlanta and being distributed from there to the northern cities, such as Chicago, Detroit, Baltimore and New York. Atlanta has become a distribution hub for illegal drugs in much the same way as it has for legal merchandise. Because of that there is a great increase in the number of people charged with drug trafficking.
In order to attack the traffickers bringing drugs into the state from other places, the Georgia Legislature has increased the penalties for moving large quantities. For example, when a person is moving twenty-eight grams of cocaine in Georgia, they now face a minimum of ten years in prison and a $200,000 fine. When it is two hundred grams, it goes up to fifteen years in prison and a $300,000 fine. When it is 400 grams or more, contact with a volume dealer attorney in Atlanta is imperative as the person is now facing a minimum of twenty-five years in prison and a one million dollar fine. The same types of increased penalties for larger quantities apply to most types of drugs covered under the Georgia Controlled Substance Act (pdf).
In Atlanta, trafficking cases are often fundamentally different from drug possession cases. Most drug possession cases involve a person who has bought or is in the process of buying an amount of drugs or marijuana for their personal use. They most often get caught in their car or when they are in the process of buying the drugs. It is sort of a target of opportunity for the police.
The police see a drug transaction or pull someone over and search a car and find drugs. Usually the police don’t have much in the way of advanced knowledge about this. With trafficking cases, however, the police are making the arrest after doing a bit of homework. They have gotten tips that someone might be involved and they have likely started to investigate the case before any arrests are made, which can often mean that there is more evidence for an Atlanta volume dealer attorney to overcome.
In many cases, law enforcement may even be aware of when a buy or transfer of the drugs is going to happen. They may stake out and watch a place and wait for the person who is in possession of the drugs to drive away. The police can then pull the individual over as soon as they see them make any sort of traffic violation. They talk to the person and get them to give consent to search the vehicle that has the drugs. Trafficking cases tend to be the product of the police officers and the other agencies’ intelligence efforts, as opposed to a happening that the police encountered by chance as is commonly the case in simple possession cases.
When a person is charged with trafficking it is absolutely essential to find an experienced criminal defense lawyer in the Atlanta area who specializes in drug cases. Trafficking carries very heavy mandatory sentences in prison time and very substantial heavy fines.
A person could hire the best divorce attorney or a bankruptcy attorney and they could be wonderful and great legal scholars, but if they are not fluent in the nuances of drug search and seizure laws, with drug court options, and with the trial process, they would not be prepared to handle that case.
So it is very important to find an attorney who is experienced in criminal defense law, in the trial process and in drug cases especially with trafficking specifically.