People in Georgia use drugs for a variety of reasons. Many use them to treat various illnesses, diseases or to control pain. When people use drugs for this purpose, the drugs are usually prescribed and monitored by a doctor. Using drugs as prescribed is legal and can be very helpful. However, many people use drugs without a prescription or use drugs that have no medical uses. Drug use of that nature is illegal and people who are caught with illegal drugs could face serious consequences as a result.
The potential consequences people could face depends on the type of drug that people possess. If people possess drugs in Schedule I and narcotics in Schedule II could be sentenced between 2-15 years in prison for their first offense and up to 30 years for even a second offense. People caught possessing non-narcotic Schedule II drugs also face a prison sentence between 2-15 years, but subsequent offenses could result in 5-30 years in prison. Those caught with drugs in Schedule III, IV and V could punish with 1-5 years in jail for first offenses and 1-10 for future offenses.
These are very serious consequences even for a first-time offense, but people can only be sentenced to these jail terms if they are convicted. Being charged with drug possession does not mean that people are guilty. In order to be guilty, the prosecution needs to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the person is in fact guilty of the crime and there could be defenses available. People also have certain rights and protections and if these rights are violated, the charges could be dismissed.
Many people in Georgia are charged with drug possession crimes each year. There are very harsh penalties for those convicted of possessing drugs, but not everyone that is charged is guilty. There are defenses that may be available. Many defenses start with determining whether the police had a valid reason to stop and search the person. If they did not, the evidence of the drugs could suppressed and a conviction becomes unlikely. Experienced attorneys understand people’s rights and could be a useful resource.