Drug Crimes Lawyer Atlanta at Farnsworth & Murphy, LLC

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Are you facing drug possession charges in Georgia? An Atlanta drug crimes lawyer from Farnsworth & Murphy, LLC, can offer the representation you need.

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Drug Crime Attorneys Atlanta

When the police, sheriff, or Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) arrest you, it can be unnerving. The war on drugs has taken a costly toll on our society, resulting in lengthy prison sentences even for nonviolent offenders. This is not surprising. States nationwide have drug laws that focus on incarceration rather than treatment. Georgia is no exception.

Like most U.S. states, Georgia takes drug crimes very seriously. That’s why getting help from an experienced drug crimes attorney is imperative when you are facing drug crime charges, even for a first offense.

The penalties you face, including a lifetime criminal record, are simply too high. If you’re facing a drug crime such as possession with intent to distribute, a drug trafficking attorney can help. They’ll use their experience and knowledge of drug laws in Georgia to ensure you get a fair trial.

Call the attorneys at Farnsworth & Murphy LLC in Atlanta for a free initial consultation.

How Do Drug Possession Laws in Georgia Work?

Georgia views drugs as one of the contributors to the crime rate in the state. It also views drug addiction as depriving the state of a valuable workforce. The lack of human resources has some negative economic repercussions for the state.

Georgia regulates all drugs under the Georgia Controlled Substances Act (GCSA). The prosecution tries drug offenses under this act. Some of the drug crimes include the following:

  1. Drug possession
  2. Drug trafficking
  3. Drug sale
  4. Use of illegal drugs

Any possession of a controlled substance can be considered a misdemeanor or felony. However, the severity of a violation depends on the type of drugs a person allegedly possesses and the amount of drugs.

The most notorious drugs are narcotics such as cocaine, heroin, and methamphetamine. However, even prescription and over-the-counter drugs, which are legal drugs, can get you in trouble. They can be dangerous drugs if you abuse them or use them to make other illegal substances. They are also illegal if you forge a doctor’s prescription to obtain them. Authorities initiate prescription drug charges when you possess these drugs without a prescription.

To possess a drug under the GCSA means someone knowingly has the drug in their possession. The possession can be constructive or actual. Constructive possession means the drug wasn’t found on the person’s body but in a place they own, such as their bag, car, or house. Actual possession occurs when the controlled substance is found on the individual, in their shirt or pocket.
It is also illegal to have certain types of drug paraphernalia in your possession, such as bongs, pipes, or even packaging materials.

If you are entangled in drug charges, consulting with a seasoned criminal defense attorney who is proficient in both federal and state drug laws is essential. Their expertise can be pivotal in determining the trajectory of the case and, ultimately, the impact on the defendant’s life.

 

Distinctions Between Federal and State Drug Crimes

 

Understanding the variances between federal and state drug crimes is crucial for anyone facing drug charges. While both jurisdictions enforce drug laws rigorously, the nature of the crime, the severity of penalties, and the legal proceedings can differ.

Federal offenses typically involve larger quantities of controlled substances and activities that cross state lines or international borders. The federal government often steps in when drug operations are part of larger criminal operations or involve significant trafficking and distribution networks. Penalties at this level are notably severe, with mandatory minimum sentences often leading to years in federal prison, substantial fines, and permanent criminal records.

On the other hand, state drug laws usually address crimes involving smaller amounts of drugs and may include simple possession, local distribution, or cultivation within state boundaries. While penalties can still be harsh, state charges often allow for more flexibility in sentencing. This can include alternatives to incarceration, such as probation or drug treatment programs, particularly for first-time offenders or lower-level crimes.

The strategic approach to defending against federal drug crime charges versus state charges also differs. Federal courts follow the Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure and are generally stricter about adherence to these rules, while state courts may have varying procedures based on local laws. Additionally, federal drug convictions are less likely to offer parole, emphasizing the importance of a robust defense strategy that accounts for the complexities of federal prosecution.

Penalties for Drug Charges in Georgia

Upon conviction, a judge imposes penalties based on the severity of the crime. The criminal justice system considers a number of factors to determine whether or not to try the case as a misdemeanor or felony. These factors include:

  • The type of drug involved
  • The drug schedule and classification for harm
  • The quantity of the illegal drug in question
  • Whether the drug sales fueled another crime
  • Whether the sale of drugs involves minors
  • Whether you have a prior conviction or are a repeat offender

The court system in Georgia considers these factors and issues appropriate penalties.

What Are the Drug Schedule Penalties?

The Georgia Controlled Substance laws divide controlled substances into categories called schedules. Drugs are categorized ranging from the most dangerous and highly addictive drugs to the least addictive controlled substances. Furthermore, penalties for a drug offense also range from the harshest, for offenses involving the most dangerous drugs, to the more lenient punishment involving the least addictive drugs.

These are the potential drug crime penalties depending on a drug’s schedule and its quantity.

  • Schedule 1 drugs: Examples include LSD, heroin, and ecstasy. They have a high capability of abuse and have no medicinal use. Potential penalties can include jail time of 2 to 15 years.
  • Schedule 2 drugs: This includes cocaine, opium, methamphetamine, and oxycodone. They have some medical use but also a high likelihood of abuse. An offense involving these drugs can be punishable with prison time of 2 to 15 years.
  • Schedule 3 drugs: These include drugs like steroids. These drugs have a low possibility of abuse and some medical use. A potential penalty for a crime involving these drugs includes 1 to 5 years in prison.
  • Schedule 4 drugs: Examples of these include Xanax and Valium. They have a lower probability of abuse and have some medical use. The potential penalty includes a prison time of 1 to 5 years.
  • Schedule 5 drugs: These include codeine and other prescription drugs. They have the lowest probability of abuse and have substantial medical use. A possession conviction for a Schedule 5 drug can include spending 1 to 5 years in prison.

What Are Marijuana Penalties?

Marijuana is not legal in the state of Georgia. Marijuana is a Schedule I drug, and possession is considered a serious crime.

Possession of less than one ounce of marijuana is a misdemeanor. It attracts a maximum jail time of less than a year or a fine of $1.000. A possession charge of more than one ounce of marijuana has a jail term of one to ten years.

If you have marijuana that you plan to deliver, sell, or distribute, it is a felony. These marijuana charges can result in prison time of one to 30 years with fines of $100,000 to $1,000,000.

How a Georgia Drug Crimes Lawyer Can Help You

Seeking an Atlanta drug lawyer early is crucial if you have a drug-related charge. Drug charges can result in a criminal record. In turn, the record can negatively affect other areas of your life. For example, they limit your ability to get work, scholarships, and loans.

A drug crime attorney has knowledge of the criminal justice law in Georgia. An Atlanta drug crime lawyer will use strategies to reduce the penalty you get. They may be able to remove the drug charge altogether.

They can investigate whether the arresting officers violated the law. They’ll use this knowledge to defend you in court. They can be crucial in identifying weaknesses in the state’s case that benefit you. They can prepare a thorough drug possession defense based on the following:

  • Illegal search and seizure

  • Malicious planting of drugs

  • Someone else’s drugs

  • Drug tests were not done per the law

A drug lawyer will also handle all the paperwork related to your drug case. They also give you personalized attention by answering all your questions. They’ll also contact your family and friends to update them on your case’s developments.

Plus, if you’re facing a potentially lengthy sentence, a drug crime lawyer can help you. They prepare a collaboration deal with the authorities. In exchange for sharing valuable information, you could get a reduced sentence. Your drug lawyer ensures this process happens in your best interest.

Consult an Experienced Drug Crime Attorney at Farnsworth & Murphy Today!

Don’t get stranded when authorities arrest you for drug-related crimes. Atlanta drug crime lawyers at Farnsworth & Murphy LLC can prepare a drug possession charge defense.

At our law firm, we fight hard for you and explore all avenues to aid you in your defense. We handle cases involving all types of controlled substances, including cocaine, marijuana, heroin, methamphetamine, and prescription drugs such as Percocet, Fentanyl, Oxycontin, or Xanax.

It is our job to evaluate the evidence and determine if the arresting officers acted in accordance with the law. When they arrest you, they should be within the bounds of Georgia law and the Fourth Amendment. If your property was forfeited, we may be able to recover property that was improperly seized.

If necessary, we can file an appeal in your case, regardless of whether we handled the original case.

So if you want professional legal assistance with your drug crime case, visit our offices in Atlanta, Georgia. Contact us today to schedule a free consultation.

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Free Initial Consultation

Call Farnsworth & Murphy LLC at 470-601-7056 or fill out our easy-to-use online form to get in touch and schedule a free initial consultation.

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