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A breakdown of drug crimes and their penalties

The penalties for drug-related crimes in Georgia and throughout the country depend largely upon the type and amount of illegal substance involved in the incident as well as the specific situation that led to it. This applies to the crimes of possession, dealing, manufacturing, and transporting illegal substances. These laws may even apply to legal drugs in some cases.

When an individual is charged with a drug crime, the legal consequences range from relatively light measures like probation, community service, and house arrest – up to more severe punishments like jail or prison time. The penalty all depends on the unique circumstances of the crime and the events surrounding it.

When individuals are penalized for drug charges with a fine, it’s rarely a light slap on the wrist. These financial consequences to drug charge convictions are designed to cause the offender significant hardship in order to effectively dissuade them and others from repeating the same actions.

The key factors that come into play when determining the penalty and sentence for a drug-related crime are:

  • The type of substance
  • The amount of the substance
  • What the individual was doing
  • Previous law enforcement encounters

Classes of controlled substance

The classification of drugs under federal law ranges from Schedule I to Schedule V, with Schedule I being the most dangerous. Schedule I substances are those with no recognized medical purpose and are highly likely to be abused. These include:

  • Marijuana
  • Heroin
  • MDMA/Ecstasy
  • Peyote
  • LSD

Schedule II drugs are classified as substances with approved medicinal purposes but can very easily lead to addiction. These are:

  • Cocaine
  • Methamphetamine
  • Prescription stimulants
  • A broad family of opioids

Because of how serious the negative impacts of dangerous drugs may be, the crimes associated with them are taken extremely seriously. It’s important to be aware of these laws because the legal repercussions may last for the rest of your life.