While the United States is pushing to legalize marijuana and lessen punishments for other drug offenses, the laws in Georgia still punish drug possessors very harshly. Most drug possession charges are felonies except for a few exceptions. Three common misdemeanor drug charges are possession of drug related objects, less than an ounce of marijuana, or prescription medications out of their original container.

Drug laws are complicated and police departments, along with the Georgia Bureau of Investigation (GBI), intend to punish those caught with controlled substances and illegal drugs. If you are arrested and charged with having ownership of a controlled substance, contact a McDonough drug possession lawyer as soon as possible to explore defenses and other options open to you. Our skilled drug crime attorneys could prepare you for the legal process and work hard to protect your freedom.

Aggravating Factors in Drug Possession Cases

The type of drug and the amount of drug alleged to be in your possession will be the main driving factors in determining your charges and the potential penalties. In general, the more addictive and harmful drugs have harsher sentences. Higher quantities of drugs obviously receive harsher sentences. Your criminal history will also be a driving factor in the determination of the minimum sentence and will often double the applicable punishment.

Additionally, people who have drugs intended for personal use are typically just charged with possession of the drugs. However, higher quantities of drugs can lead to the inference that the you intended to sell or engage in trafficking which will lead to entirely different charges altogether. A lawyer in McDonough could determine how to handle a drug possession case depending on the existence of aggravating factors.

Alternative Sentencing for First Time Drug Offenders

Under Georgia Code § 16-13-2, courts are permitted to offer first offenders found in possession of marijuana, narcotic drugs, stimulants, depressants, and hallucinatory substances, an alternate sentence that most likely will include extensive drug rehabilitation, medical treatment, classes about the dangers of illicit drugs, and probation.

If the person completes the program, the charges will be dismissed, leaving the defendant with a clean record and a future free from the stigma of a felony conviction. A McDonough attorney could advocate for a client who meets the criteria for an alternative sentence in a drug possession case.  

Possible Defenses to Controlled Substance Possession

People arrested and charged with drug possession may have a variety of defenses at their disposal ranging from factual defenses (those are not my drugs), legal defenses (officers violated your rights), or mitigation (attending drug rehab etc).  Some defenses that a lawyer in McDonough might raise in a drug possession case include:

  • Illegal search and seizure under the Fourth Amendment of the United States Constitution
  • Entrapment when law enforcement induces someone to commit a crime that they would not ordinarily do
  • Miranda rights violation
  • Arguing that the drugs were not in fact owned by the defendant
  • Arguing that the defendant is a patient with a Georgia Medical Marijuana card and therefore is legally possessing a limited amount of low-THC cannabis oil

Speak with a McDonough Drug Possession Attorney

If you have been arrested and charged with having a controlled or illegal substance in your possession, do not panic and do not admit guilt. Many factors can affect a prosecutor’s case and can result in an advantageous outcome for you.

A McDonough drug possession lawyer from our office understands the stress you may be under. We are here to discuss solutions. Call today for your initial consultation.

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Carl Chapman
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