Georgia treats drug crimes seriously and harshly penalizes possession of small amounts of Schedule I drugs. If you are convicted of possessing a Schedule I drug, you might be sentenced to prison and be ordered to pay a stiff fine. Drug convictions also come with collateral consequences that can continue to impact your life long after you have completed your sentence.
Penalties for possessing a Schedule I drug
Under Ga. Code Ann. § 16-13-30, a conviction for possessing less than 1 gram of a Schedule I drug carries a prison sentence ranging from a minimum mandatory one year up to three years. This offense is also a felony, meaning that you will have a felony on your record if you are convicted of this offense. Schedule I drugs are substances that are highly addictive and have no medical value. The list of Schedule I drugs is found in Ga. Code Ann. § 16-13-25 and includes such drugs as heroin, mescaline, LSD and PCP, among others.
Collateral consequences of a conviction for possessing a Schedule I drug
If you are convicted of a felony drug possession offense in Georgia, you will also suffer collateral consequences that can continue to impact you long after your case has been discharged. People with felony convictions are not allowed to run for office, serve on a jury, work as a notary public, or possess or own firearms unless they are pardoned or receive a restoration of civil rights.
A felony conviction can also negatively impact your life in other ways. Many employers run pre-employment background checks and might hesitate to hire you if you have a felony on your record. You may also have trouble finding an apartment or home or qualifying for credit. People with drug felonies also cannot secure federal financial aid to pay for college.
If you are currently facing charges for possessing less than 1 gram of a Schedule I substance, it is important for you to build a defense against the allegations against you. An experienced criminal defense lawyer might analyze the evidence in your case and help you identify potential strategies for a favorable outcome.