Dedicated Representation and Personal Service in Lawrenceville, GA

How does drug trafficking differ from mere possession?

On Behalf of | Feb 4, 2020 | Drug Charges |

If you manufacture, distribute, sell or even possess a large quantity of drugs in Georgia, it may be possible for you to be charged with drug trafficking. In general, drug trafficking is a more serious crime than drug possession.

The difference between drug possession and drug trafficking generally relies on the amount of drugs at issue, although the line isn’t crystal-clear. If a person possesses a large quantity of a controlled substance, this may lead to charges of drug distribution and sale, instead of mere possession of controlled substance solely for one’s own use.

What quantity of drugs constitutes trafficking depends on several factors. The Schedule that the drugs fall under, the purity of the drugs and whether the drugs are in a secondary medium that does not cause intoxication but instead is added to preserve the substance for transportation are all factors that will be considered when determining whether a person should be charged with drug trafficking. Georgia laws have methods for determining how much of the controlled substance is at issue minus any suspensions the controlled substances may be in or impurities the controlled substances may have.

The consequences for being convicted of drug trafficking are very serious, since Georgia follows the federal mandatory minimum sentences when it comes to drug trafficking. If a person in Georgia traffics a Schedule I controlled substance or a Schedule II controlled substance that is a narcotic, they could face five to 30 years of incarceration for a first-time trafficking offense. If a person in Georgia traffics a Schedule III, IV or V controlled substance, they could face one to 10 years of incarceration for a first-time trafficking offense. Prison sentences are longer for subsequent trafficking convictions.

This post only provides a basic overview of drug trafficking in Georgia. It does not replace the advice of an attorney. Those who are facing such charges or who want more information on this topic are encouraged to seek the help they need to make decisions that are in their best interests.