Being caught in possession of an illegal substance could result in serious consequences for the accused. These could be further intensified if the accused is purported to be involved in a drug trafficking operation. In order for these charges to stick in Georgia, however, certain elements must be proven. Thus, it is possible to assert a defense even after being charged with drug trafficking.
Drug trafficking laws
With regards to drug trafficking charges in the state of Georgia, this refers to the manufacturing, distribution, delivery, sale or possession of a large quantity of a controlled substance. When one is charged with and convicted of this crime, the state of Georgia applies federal mandatory minimum penalties. As such, those accused of this crime could face lengthy prison sentences and hefty fines.
For example, an individual convicted of the possession of any Schedule I or Schedule II drug could face 5-30 years in prison, with subsequent convictions punishable with 10 to 40 years or even life in prison. For those convicted of the possession of a schedule III, IV or V drug, he or she could face 1 to 10 years in prison, with subsequent conviction having the same penalties.
Drug weight issues
What differentiates drug trafficking from drug possession for personal usage is the type of drug in question and the quantity or weight of the drug in question. Because a large quantity of drugs suggests distribution and sale versus personal use, one is likely to face drug trafficking charges if these factors are present. This and other factors may be used to charge the individual with drug trafficking; thus, it is important to understand what these factors are, what evidence is obtained and how the evidence was collected. This information could assist one with their criminal defense strategy.
A criminal charge could greatly impact one’s life regardless of their criminal history. In fact, an individual with prior convictions for drug offenses could face harsher penalties if he or she is convicted of the allegations. Therefore, it is important that one is aware of their rights and options when it comes to asserting a criminal defense against an allegation of drug trafficking.