Drug charges do not often happen with a police officer spotting a person with a joint or a pipe. Many charges of drug possession come from a discovery during another type of law enforcement intervention. It is common in Georgia for traffic stops to evolve into drug charges.
There are a lot of reasons that someone could face drug charges in Georgia that are more severe than any crime that was committed. In fact, one of the reasons charges may be too steep is if prosecutors believe a person was knowingly in possession of drugs or drug-related paraphernalia when he or she was not.
Much like public drunkenness or underage possession of alcohol, drug charges largely come from someone being caught doing something. Many of the legal details when a prosecutor has the evidence to file charges come from how a person was caught while committing a suspected crime.
Drug charges are no laughing matter in Georgia. Possession of illegal or controlled substances may result in prison time or heavy fines after prosecution or a plea deal. In many cases, drug possession may be one of several charges connected to a single arrest. Those facing charges may be able to get some or all charges dropped or reduced with legal representation.
There are changes coming in the way many U.S. law enforcement agencies approach drugs. This has come on the heels of many states and cities reducing penalties for minor drug offenses. Another connection that occurs in Georgia and elsewhere is drug charges can aggravate other cases against people.
There are many ways in which a conviction for drug possession can turn a person's life upside down. Fighting criminal charges takes an emotional and financial toll, and many accused persons may find their friends and co-workers keeping them at a distance. In Georgia, as in 21 other states, the right to vote is restricted by a drug conviction.
Most people think of juries, if they think of them at all, as the last essential part of the promise of justice in America. A person's right to let fellow citizens rule on a legal dispute is a cornerstone of trust in the courts. But a certain type of jury is important in deciding whether charges may be filed in the first place.
Drugs are known to knock people off track and ruin lives, often through the stigma of a criminal conviction for possession or use of a controlled substance. But what if you were in trouble for someone else's crime? What if you didn't know a drug was illegal? It is important to fight for your rights.
Imagine you're driving home from a late-night shift at work on a Saturday evening, and for some reason, the police have decided to pull you over and perform a traffic stop. You find out that the officer suspects you of being intoxicated by illegal substances, and you're asked to get out of the car so the police can search your vehicle. The next thing you know, you're being arrested on charges of cocaine possession. What the officer doesn't realize is that your alleged "cocaine" is a baggy of confectionary sugar from your cake decorating shop.
Being arrested and booked for an alleged drug crime can be a terrifying experience if you've never experienced anything like it before. Knowledge and experience are definitely power when it comes to avoiding the feeling of pit-in-the-stomach terror during a criminal booking. This is why we've created a brief guide to help you have a rough picture of what to expect: