From what you see on social media and on television shows, you might think that social attitudes about drugs have completely changed in recent decades. People talk openly about using substances that remain prohibited at a federal level on social media. Television shows and movies sometimes glamorize the use of illegal substances or the abuse of controlled substances for recreational or experimental purposes.
It is common for people to assume that drug prohibition enforcement is no longer a priority for modern law enforcement professionals. Many people in Georgia may have a false sense of security when thinking about experimenting with drugs. Despite how the laws have changed in other states, Georgia still has a very secret approach to drug prohibition.
Any controlled or illegal substance could change your life
There is no such thing as a minor drug offense in Georgia. Even simple possession offenses often lead to felony charges. The only exception is when someone stands accused of possessing less than one ounce of marijuana. Any more marijuana than that or any other drug will lead to felony charges.
The simplest possession charges in Georgia might lead to between one and five years in prison. However, possession of Schedule I substances or Schedule II narcotic pain relievers might lead to up to 15 years in prison for first offenses. Repeat offenders could face up to 30 years in prison.
The state will typically bring the most serious charges possible against those who allegedly manufactured or distributed controlled or prohibited substances.
Neither addiction nor claims of medical need will prevent criminal charges
The unfortunate truth for those facing allegations that they violated Georgia drug laws is that while they may claim that they possessed the substance for medical purposes or that they struggle with addiction, the criminal courts are unlikely to have a lenient attitude in either of those scenarios.
In situations involving substance abuse disorders, sometimes those accused of nonviolent offenses may qualify for proceedings in the drug courts instead of the criminal courts, which will lead to treatment opportunities and eliminate the risk of a criminal record if someone completes the process as ordered by the courts. Otherwise, a different defense strategy will be necessary to avoid the consequences of a conviction.
Recognizing that even a small amount of a prohibited substance could lead to life-altering consequences could help you make safer choices or take the situation seriously when you find yourself facing state drug charges.