Drug charges can be frightening for those accused because there is a long list of drugs that even a tiny amount of could result in a felony charge and, in some jurisdictions even jail time. Additionally, the possibility of a permanent criminal record frightens people who may have simply been trying to have a good time when they came into contact with police and drugs were discovered. Due to these penalties and the other related consequences, such as driver’s license suspensions, it is important anyone accused of a drug offense get in contact with a Fulton County Drug lawyer as soon as possible. An experienced defense attorney in Fulton County can work to investigate the specific facts and circumstances of the accusations and build the strongest defense possible for the specific case.
Fulton County has several universities within the limits of the county. These universities bring a large college-age population that is looking to have a good time to the bars and clubs in and around Fulton County. Within this crowd the most common drug offense is marijuana, of which possession of a small amount for personal use is a misdemeanor.
In addition to the college scene, Fulton County is also a hub of more serious drug activity which includes charges involving heroin and cocaine, which is also prevalent in Buckhead. These charges can rise to a level much more serious than misdemeanor marijuana possession, making it imperative a Fulton County drug attorney is contacted right away.
Fulton County follows federal drug schedules. Other than marijuana, which is as a misdemeanor when possessed in less than an ounce, almost all drug charges fall into a felony category and go to the Superior Court for prosecution by the Fulton County district attorney. Fulton County prosecutors tend to focus more on the volume or quantity of the drug when faced with sentencing and plea negotiations, and less on the particular type of drug, although this does vary among other Atlanta jurisdictions.
Most smaller-quantity drug cases are the result of a traffic stop in which an officer discovered illegal narcotics or had a canine unit alerted to the presence of illegal narcotics. Officers that have been told or alerted about the presence of illegal drugs do not need a search warrant to search a car. In fact, it is becoming more common for officers to legally obtaining the authorization to search a car if they smell marijuana.
Therefore, almost every Fulton County drug attorney will advise an individual not to smoke marijuana in their car since it could lead to a search of the vehicle where more marijuana or other drug contraband is discovered.
For larger quantities of drugs, there is often the execution of search warrants authorized by Fulton County magistrate judges. Often times, SWAT teams and larger forces of police will go into homes and businesses to execute these warrants in the search of illegal narcotics.
Fulton County law enforcement has recognized that there is an epidemic with prescription drug use and abuse. So-called doctors’ offices that legally prescribe prescriptions through the same patients over and over again with large volumes of pills that are then often sold on the street at a very high cost to fill, also called pill-mills, have flourished in and around Fulton County.
Fulton County law enforcement has worked with the FBI to crack down on the doctors writing these prescriptions, the individuals who obtain these large prescriptions, and the dealers who sell the pills and pay the doctor. Together, federal law enforcement and local law enforcement in Fulton County have made a dent in the prevalence of prescription drug resale on the street and continue to prosecute these cases with great severity.
One of the most common constitutional issues that arise in drug cases are violations of the Fourth Amendment on the basis of unreasonable search and seizure. For example, when a defendant is pulled over for a routine traffic stop and is asked to exit the car for a vehicle search, and the officer’s reasons for doing so do not rise to the level of a reasonable suspicion, a defendant’s attorney could argue that their rights were violated. There can also be a dispute over whether a defendant actually gave consent for the police officer to search their vehicle after a routine traffic stop.
Constitutionality can also come into play in drug cases when it is unclear whether a warrant was properly issued to search a house, especially if the charges are based on confidential information. If the anonymous informant does not have the proper history to represent the type of credibility required to support a warrant, a defense attorney could cast doubt on the prosecution’s evidence.
If you are facing drug charges in Fulton County, you should contact a drug lawyer in Fulton County as early as possible. An attorney can help to investigate the facts and circumstances underlying the search and seizure of the drugs in a particular situation while your memory and any other witnesses’ memories are still fresh. This gives the attorney the opportunity to ask the important and tough questions.
By: Jerry H.
Rating: ★★★★★5 / 5 stars