Georgia has stringent drug laws. According to Georgia Code 16-13-30(d), a first-time conviction for possessing Schedule I or II controlled substances with intent to distribute means a minimum punishment of five years in prison.
It is tough to recover from the consequences of a drug conviction. Some first-time offenders have the option to apply for the Conditional Discharge Program. However, if you receive a possession charge with intent to distribute, the Conditional Discharge Program is not available to you.
Conditional Discharge is a legal way to avoid prison time. It only applies to first offenders of drug-related possession crimes. The program allows you to plead guilty to the crime you face charges for, but in exchange, the court places you on probation to avoid jail time. There may be other requirements, such as rehabilitation and medical treatment. At the end of your probation, the court dismisses the charges. However, there are harsh punishments for failure to comply with the program’s conditions.
Intent to distribute
Possession with intent to distribute does not allow you to apply for the Conditional Discharge Program. Before Georgia can convict you with the intent to distribute, the courts must prove your guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. There is no clearly stated amount to convict someone with the intent to distribute. If there is no evidence of intent, the court may decide the possession was for personal use.
Drug convictions in Georgia usually lead to some jail time. However, first-time offenders have options if they do not receive a possession charge with the intent to distribute.