The penalties for drug possession in Georgia are often strict. Each case is different and could have additional charges involved, so it’s difficult to give a clear answer on how long prison time is for possession.
Penalties for marijuana
Possession of up to 1 ounce of marijuana is a misdemeanor in Georgia. The penalty for this could be one year in prison and a $1,000 fine. Possession of over 1 ounce of marijuana could come with a maximum prison sentence of 10 years and a fine up to $5,000. One year in prison is mandatory for this felony.
Prison time for other drugs
All drug possession charges besides marijuana up to 1 ounce are felonies in Georgia. Possession of Schedule V, IV and III drugs are punishable by up to 5 years in prison on the first offense and up to 10 years in prison on subsequent offenses. The sentence for non-narcotic Schedule II drugs is 2–15 years on the first offense and 5–30 on subsequent offenses. Narcotic Schedule II drugs and Schedule I drugs are also punishable for 2–15 years with a maximum possible sentence of 30 years for repeat offenses.
Intention to distribute
The intention to distribute drugs comes with a harsher penalty than the intention to only use it by yourself. Intending to distribute within 1,000 feet of school zones, housing projects, parks and drug-free zones also comes with more severe penalties. You could face up to 20 years in prison and a $20,000 fine if you are convicted for this.
If you are convicted of first-offense drug possession, it’s possible to get a conditional release. You could serve probation instead of prison time. Once you complete probation, your criminal record may not show a drug possession charge.
Georgia is a state that’s tough on drug possession even when it’s marijuana for personal use. You may have to serve time in prison in addition to paying a fine.