The State of Georgia takes drug offenses very seriously, and that is reflected in the Georgia drug possession laws. Many drug offenses can land you in prison and you need an attorney you can trust to get you the best results. Call us with any questions you have about the charges you are facing and a consultation about your case.
If you are being charged with possession, it is important you know that your potential sentence depends on the type of drug you were caught with. Drugs are classified by “schedules”, in accordance with federal classifications.
Georgia Drug Classifications
Drugs classified under Schedule I include heroin, peyote, LSD, GHB, ecstasy (MDMA/Molly), and hallucinogenic mushrooms.
Schedule II drugs include: raw opium, morphine, oxycodone, cocaine (including crack-cocaine), fentanyl, methadone, and methamphetamines.
Schedule III drugs include some steroids such as testosterone and ketamine.
Some drugs under schedule IV include clonazepam, diazepam, and Phenobarbital.
Schedule V includes drugs that have low levels of codeine, opium, and ethylmorphine.
These lists are not exhaustive. Some drugs are listed in more than one schedule depending on the concentration of the chemical elements in the drugs. Many prescription drugs are included in the schedules as a method of controlling illegal and improper usage.
What is Drug Possession under Georgia Drug Laws?
The way that the State of Georgia defines possession is important in determining if someone is guilty of a possession charge.
In Georgia, possession can be “actual” or “constructive”. This simply means that the drugs do not have to be in your pocket or on your person in order for you to be charged and found guilty of possession.
If you have control over the drugs, whether they are in your glove compartment or on your coffee table, is what determines if you are in possession of the drugs.
Also, if an officer sees you throw or attempt to hide a package that is later determined to contain drugs, you can be charged with possession.
Georgia Drug Possession Penalties
|Drug Substance||Level||Possible Sentence|
|Marijuana Less than 1 ounce(please see my marijuana possession page for more details)
||Misdemeanor||Up to $1,000 and one year in prison|
|Marijuana More than 1 ounce||Felony||1-10 years in prison and variable fines|
|Schedule 1 & 2 First offense||Felony||2-15 years in prison and variable fines|
|Schedule 1 & 2 Second and subsequent offenses||Felony||5-30 years in prison and variable fine|
|Schedule 3, 4, & 5 First Offense||Felony||1-5 years in prison and variable fines|
|Schedule 3,4, & 5 Second and subsequent offenses||Felony||1-10 years in prison and variable fines|
Drivers License Suspension
If you are convicted of possession, your license will be suspended. If this is your first offense, there is a mandatory suspension of 6 months. If this is your second offense, you will lose your license for 1 year. If this is your third or subsequent possession charge, you will lose your driver’s license for at least 2 years..
*If this is your first possession or drug related charge, the judge may offer you a “conditional discharge“. A conditional discharge allows for you to admit to the possession without a conviction or guilty plea being entered on your record. You then serve a probation term which, if completed successfully results in the original charges being dropped.
If you violate the terms of probation during a conditional discharge, you can be charged and brought to trial for the possession charge.
Possession of Drug Paraphernalia Laws
Along with being charged for possessing the controlled substance, you can also be charged for having the paraphernalia used with the drugs. Possession of drug paraphernalia is a misdemeanor and can be punished with up to $1,000 in fines and up to 1 year in prison.
Other Georgia Drug Law Facts
Although Flunitrazepan (also known as Rohypnol, the “date rape drug”) is a Schedule IV substance, it is a drug taken VERY seriously by the State of Georgia. For that reason, it is sentenced similarly to Schedule I and II offenses.
Georgia’s location has law enforcement aware that it has a great capability to contribute to the Nation’s illegal drug trade. For this reason, drug possession is not taken too lightly, particularly for re-offenders!
Get a Free Legal Consultation on Any Criminal Drug Charges in Georgia
Please call or contact us to talk to an experienced Georgia Criminal Defense Attorney. Don’t take a drug charge lightly. Get the best help you can, right away.