When you get involved with drugs, the chances increase that you will face some form of drug possession charge.
The headlines alone prove that law enforcement has the patience to get drugs off the streets. Whether trafficking or not, any drug charge comes with lasting consequences.
1. What does the law consider possession?
The state defines possession as actual or constructive. For the former, it means any drugs on your person. The latter allows you to get charged for drugs even if you do not physically have them on you but have control of them, such as drugs hidden in a glovebox or on a table in your home or if an officer witnesses you throwing drugs out of a moving vehicle.
2. What penalties and fines come with a conviction?
A drug possession arrest in Georgia means a felony charge. As an exception, if you get caught with under an ounce of marijuana, the charge drops to a misdemeanor. All other Schedule I-V controlled substances come with varying consequences depending on the type. If you had Schedule I or II drugs, such as heroin or ecstasy, you face a possible two- to 15-year sentence as a first-time offender. A second arrest means potentially 30 years of incarceration. The lower Schedule drug possession convictions come with up to a five-year sentence.
3. What other consequences might I face?
Along with jail time, you will also have penalties to pay. Even a misdemeanor marijuana offense could cost you $1,000. Any drug possession means a suspended license for at least six months. A second conviction comes with a one-year suspension.
Not every drug case turns out the same, but knowing the consequences may help you come to terms with the worst-case scenarios.