Facing a drug-related charge can be frightening, as such a charge can quickly impact your reputation and your future. After all, Georgia law treats the crime of drug possession seriously.
Fortunately, if officials have accused you of possessing drugs, which is a felony crime, it is within your rights to fight this charge. Prosecutors have to prove the charge beyond a reasonable doubt before a conviction can happen in your case.
Suspension of your driver's license
If a conviction occurs in your case involving possessing drugs in Georgia, you may face having your driver's license suspended. For a first conviction, the mandatory suspension period is six months.
Meanwhile, for a second conviction, you will lose your driver's license for a year. Three or more possession convictions will lead to the loss of your license for two years.
Schedule I and narcotic Schedule II drug penalties
Besides losing your driver's license, you may face other severe drug crime penalties, depending on what type of drug authorities said you possessed. For instance, if you possess a narcotic Schedule II drug or a Schedule I drug, you can face between two and 15 years behind prison bars.
Additional convictions may lead to up to three decades in prison. Schedule I drugs do not have accepted medical usage and people can easily abuse them, while narcotic Schedule II drugs may have accepted medical usage but may also cause a person to become psychologically or physically dependent on them and thus abuse them.
Non-narcotic Schedule II drug penalties
If authorities can prove that you possessed a Schedule II drug that was not a narcotic, you can still face two to 15 years behind bars. Any extra conviction may lead to an additional three to five years behind bars.
Other drug schedule penalties
If authorities prove that you possessed drugs from the categories of Schedule V, IV or III, you may face one to five years behind bars, with additional convictions potentially leading to one year to a decade in prison.
These drugs all have accepted medical usages. However, Schedule V drugs are the least likely for one to abuse or to cause physical or psychological dependence.
If you face a conviction of possessing an ounce or less of marijuana, this is a misdemeanor that will lead to a year behind bars as well as a $1,000 fine.
Meanwhile, possessing over an ounce of this illegal drug may lead to a whopping 10 years behind prison bars, with at least one year in prison being mandatory. In addition, you will have to pay a fine that could be as high as $5,000.
How to make sure that you have the best defense possible
In your fight against a charge of possessing drugs, a qualified attorney will thoroughly examine the evidence that the prosecution plans to furnish to support the charge. Holes in the prosecution's argument may lead to a favorable result for you. The attorney's ultimate goal in a drug possession case is to preserve your rights and your freedom.