The most common drug crime seen in Gwinnett County is simple possession of marijuana. In Georgia, unlike other states, it is still illegal to possess any amount of marijuana, and most people are aware of that. However, because the laws are liberalized across the country, many people assume that possession of marijuana is not treated harshly but it is. Although the legislature has lightened the license suspension rules for possession of marijuana, it remains a criminal charge that can result in jail time, probation, drug classes, counseling, and other collateral consequences.
Drug crimes are treated very seriously in Georgia and therefore warrant contact with a Gwinnett County drug lawyer immediately. If you have been arrested or accused of a drug crime it is crucial to contact a Gwinnett County criminal attorney as soon as possible to begin building a strong defense.
In the State of Georgia, there are four drug schedules, Schedules I through IV. Schedule I drugs are considered to be the most dangerous to have and are in all cases illegal. Schedules II, III, and IV involve drugs which can be lawfully prescribed. However, any of the Schedule IV drugs a person cannot possess without a prescription. If a person is found to be in possession of any of those drugs they will be charged with a felony and should consult with a drug lawyer in Gwinnett County as soon as possible.
The main focus for Gwinnett County law enforcement officers is heroin. Heroin is starting to appear more and more in high schools and local college campuses in Gwinnett County. Although it is not quite as common as marijuana, it is gaining popularity. The number of deaths, especially among high school and college students, has gone up dramatically due to heroin. Therefore it is a big focus among law enforcement officers. It has actually displaced cocaine, methamphetamines, and pills as the primary focus among law enforcement recently.
For the most part, if a person is caught by law enforcement with a drug which is illegal to have in Gwinnett County, they will go to jail. The person will be arrested and required to make bond.
Gwinnett County has a drug court program for people who are charged with simple possession of drugs, a felony charge. This program requires that individuals be involved in the program for two years and receive a lot of counseling and drug testing. At the end of the two years and completion of the program, the person will have their charges dismissed. This is a good chance for a person who has been caught with illegal drugs to earn a dismissal and is specific to Gwinnett County.
In every drug possession case, violation of the Fourth Amendment can arise as a possible defense. The Fourth Amendment says that police cannot search without reason or probable cause, so the officers must have other exigent circumstances or probable cause to search a car or home. Police cannot enter a person’s home without permission unless they have a search warrant or there are exigent circumstances, meaning the building is on fire, they hear someone scream for help, et cetera.
Whenever a Gwinnett County drug lawyer has a drug possession case they should do a Fourth Amendment evaluation to see if the search will stand up to judicial scrutiny. Even if a person is in possession of drugs, the case cannot stand if the police found the drugs by violating the Fourth Amendment.
If you are arrested for a drug charge in Gwinnett County, Georgia you should contact a Gwinnett County drug attorney as soon as possible. The moment a person is released from jail, they should contact a local lawyer that they trust. If they cannot get out of jail then their family should contact a local drug lawyer and discuss the drug case for them. It may even be possible for the family to arrange a jail visit from the attorney so the accused can interview them and see if they want to hire them. Do not wait around. Evidence can disappear and witnesses can forget things. It is very important to start on a Gwinnett County drug case right away.