Unlawful possession of a controlled substance is a criminal offense under Georgia law, and this crime carries severe penalties upon conviction. Depending on the nature of the drug in question, a person charged with possession could face hefty fines and significant jail time, in addition to the loss of certain rights. If you have been accused of this offense, consult with a DeKalb County drug possession lawyer as soon as possible. A skilled attorney could mount a comprehensive defense against your charges.
Law enforcement agencies in the area take drug possession seriously, and the courts often prosecute this offense harshly. Drug possession investigations are frequent, and the most common way that someone is found to be in possession of a controlled substance is through a traffic stop. If a police officer suspects that a driver may have drugs in their possession, and the driver is found to have an illicit substance on their person during a proper search ensuing from a traffic stop, an arrest may be made.
There are several factors that may enhance the severity of drug possession charges. If less than an ounce of controlled substances or marijuana is found in connection with large amounts of cash and/or guns, the defendant’s charges will be elevated, as will the level of prosecution. Additionally, if it can be proven that the defendant possessed the drugs with the intent to distribute them, they would also face more serious charges.
If the defendant does not have a prior record, the charges may be minimal. Additionally, a skilled local attorney could significantly benefit the outcome of their drug possession case by citing constitutional issues with law enforcement’s approach. There are also multiple provisions in Georgia law that provide for limited impact from a drug charge through the application of the First Offender Act or through conditional discharge for a first offense.
State law classifies drugs into five schedules based on severity, Schedule I through Schedule V. Schedule I substance have highest potential for abuse and have no medical purpose or safe and acceptable use of the drug, such as heroin, while Schedule V drugs have low potential for abuse, an acceptable medical use and limited physical dependency or psychological dependence compared to the higher schedules.
The schedule of the drug and the amount will greatly impact the severity of the possession charges. While possession of a small amount of marijuana may be only incur misdemeanor charges, the same amount of heroin could result in a felony. It may be crucial, no matter the substance at the center of the charges, for someone accused of drug possession to enlist qualified legal representation in the DeKalb County area who could minimize the potential consequences.
Every drug possession case should be treated seriously, even if the charges seem minor. A conviction for the possession of an illicit substance could detrimentally impact your life, as a criminal record may prevent you from partaking in valuable personal and professional opportunities. If you are facing these charges and are unsure of your next steps, contact a DeKalb County drug possession lawyer. An experienced legal team could protect your rights during this process and help you fight for the best possible outcome in your case.