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Understanding drug possession charges in Georgia

Georgia (GA) drug possession laws are strict and may even lead to prison time. You do not have to be in actual possession of an illegal substance as long as it is under your control, such as at your home or in your vehicle. Possession laws also consider what the person intended to do with the substance and its classification.

Learn more about Georgia drug possession laws and the resulting penalties.

Georgia drug schedules

Like federal drug law, Georgia uses “schedules” to categorize substances based on their abuse potential and possible legitimate medical use. They range from least to most dangerous as follows:

  • Schedule I substances such as ecstasy, psilocybin mushrooms, LSD and heroin
  • Schedule II substances such as codeine, opium, hydrocodone, methamphetamine and cocaine
  • Schedule III substances such as anabolic steroids
  • Schedule IV substances such as Xanax and Valium
  • Schedule V substances, including other prescription drugs with abuse potential

Drug schedules also determine the penalties for possession of a particular substance.

Possible penalties

Georgia imposes felony charges with at least two and up to 30 years in prison for possession of drugs in Schedule I or II. The exact penalty for a conviction depends on quantity, previous criminal record and other factors.

Possession of Schedule III, IV, or V drugs also constitutes a felony. This lower-grade conviction carries a possible one-to-five-year prison term.

Georgia also requires a six-month driver’s license suspension after a drug possession conviction. Some people may qualify for a drug court program for individuals with substance use disorder.