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What penalties could you face for drug possession in Georgia?

Police officers initiate traffic stops for a variety of reasons such as speeding, failing to signal a lane change and other traffic violations. Many people drive off with a warning or a ticket, but some end up under arrest because an officer finds drugs in the vehicle. When this happens, the accused individual may begin to wonder what penalties a conviction for drug possession could bring here in Georgia.

Did you know that a conviction for drug possession could result in a suspension of your driver’s license? If this is your first offense, you could lose your license for six months. The second time, your license could be suspended for a year. Three or more convictions may result in a driver’s license suspension for as much as two years.

As for potential incarceration and fines, that depends on the drug and the amount allegedly found. Drugs considered Schedule I or narcotic Schedule II could cost you your freedom for two to 15 years on a first conviction, and up to 30 years for subsequent convictions. If the Schedule II drug is not considered a narcotic, you face incarceration for two to 15 years on a first conviction and five to 30 years on any convictions after that.

The potential prison time for Schedule III, IV and V drugs ranges between one and five years for a first conviction and between one and 10 years for additional convictions. Georgia law treats marijuana differently, but depending on the amount, you still face at least one year in prison. These numbers do not even count the potential fines the court may assess.

Georgia does not take the issue of drug possession lightly, and neither should you. There may be ways to either reduce or dismiss the charges depending on the circumstances. In reality, more is at stake than just going to prison or paying some fines. A conviction could follow you well into the future and deny you the life you envision for yourself. It would be in your best interest to retain legal counsel as soon as possible after an arrest.

Source: FindLaw, “Georgia Drug Possession Laws“, Accessed on June 4, 2017