Cordele Drug Charge Attorney
Fitzgerald Drug Arrests
If you or a family member is being investigated for or have been arrested for a drug related criminal offense you need to protect your freedom, rights and liberty by retaining an experienced attorney to help you fight these charges. These criminal violations are felonies in Georgia and carry some of the most serious prison sentences.
A conviction on one of these charges will be a life-changing event.
The Georgia criminal code has many laws related to illegal drugs and even substances that aren’t illegal but are used in the manufacture of illegal drugs. Under the law, various drugs and substances are broken down into five schedules. The potential sentence for a drug conviction depends on what schedule the drug falls into, how many prior convictions there have been and the amount of the drug involved.
The following drugs generally fall into these five schedules:
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- The drug or substance has a high potential for abuse, it has no currently accepted medical use in the U.S. and there is no accepted safe use of the drug or other substance under medical supervision. Opiates and their derivatives, such as heroin, are in this category.
- The drug or substance has a high potential for abuse, it has a currently accepted medical use in the U.S. and its abuse may lead to severe psychological or physical dependency. Drugs or substances produced directly or indirectly by extraction from plants, by chemical synthesis, or both are in this category. This includes opium and morphine.
- The drug or other substance has a potential for abuse less than those in Schedules One and Two, it is currently accepted for medical use in treatment in the U.S. and abusing it may lead to moderate or low physical dependence or high psychological dependence. This includes any material, compound, mixture, or preparation which has a stimulant effect on the central nervous system. Anabolic steroids are part of this group.
- The drug or other substance has a low potential for abuse relative to the drugs or substances in Schedule Three. It is used for medical treatment in the U.S. and abusing it may lead to limited physical dependence or psychological dependence compared to the drugs or other substances in Schedule Three. It includes any material, compound, mixture or preparation which has a stimulant, depressant or hallucinogenic effect on the central nervous system.
- The drug or other substance has a low potential for abuse relative to those in Schedule Four. It is currently used for medical treatment in the U.S. and abusing it may lead to limited physical dependence or psychological dependence relative to the drugs or other substances in Schedule Four.
Possession of methamphetamines in Georgia is a felony offense. Methamphetamine is classified as a Schedule II drug, which means even a first-time offender can be punished with up to 15 years in prison.
Under Georgia law,
- It’s illegal to purchase, possess, possess with the intent to distribute, distribute, manufacture, dispense, administer or sell controlled substances or marijuana.
- Penalties for violating the law related to Schedule One drugs can range from two to fifteen years; subsequent convictions can carry a sentence of ten to forty years to life.
- Penalties for violating the law concerning Schedule Two drugs can range from two to fifteen years; subsequent offenses can go up to five to thirty years.
- Penalties for a conviction concerning Schedule Three, Four or Five drugs are one to ten years in prison.
- Charges involving marijuana can result in a prison sentence of one to ten years.
Conspiracy to commit a drug-related crime is also a crime, as is the possession or possession with the intent to use a drug-related object.
If the defendant has never been convicted of drug possession in Georgia, the judge may, with the agreement of the defendant, impose probation without finding guilt. The defendant may be required to enroll in a drug treatment program. If the terms of probation are fulfilled, the judge will dismiss the underlying charges and the defendant will not have a conviction on his record. Criminal proceedings will resume if probation is violated, there will be a finding of guilt and the defendant will be sentenced.
Depending on the situation, the federal Drug Enforcement Administration may get involved. If a person is accused of trafficking drugs, importing them into the country, transporting them across state lines or in possession of an especially large amount of drugs, federal prosecutors (who normally have greater resources than prosecutors enforcing state laws) may get involved, and the potential federal sentences can also be harsh.
If you or a loved one is being investigated for or charged with a drug-related crime, too much is at stake to try to handle this without representation or to hire an attorney who is not familiar with criminal defense law. Contact us today — talk to a member of our criminal defense team so you can discuss the situation, applicable laws and how you should best proceed.
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