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Penalties for drug possession in Georgia

Society has become more lenient about drug charges, but Georgia law hasn’t yet caught up. Illegal drug possession is usually a felony in this state.

Suspension of your driver’s license

On your first drug-offense conviction, Georgia suspends your driver’s license for at least six months. Second-time offenses come with a license suspension of at least one year. For third or more drug convictions, the state suspends your license for at least two years.

Felony or misdemeanor

Drug charges in Georgia are felonies unless the substance was marijuana of one ounce or less. If you possess more than one ounce of marijuana, you could face up to 10 years in prison with a mandatory minimum prison sentence of one year. In a misdemeanor case, the judge could sentence you to up to one year in prison. You may also have a fine for marijuana possession of up to $1,000 for a misdemeanor and up to $5,000 for a felony.

The time you spend in prison for a drug-selling conviction partially depends on what class the substance was. Class I and Class II drugs carry the most serious penalties of up to 30 years in prison. Class III, IV and V substances are punishable by up to 10 years in prison. How much of the substance that you sold influences how long your prison sentence will be.

First-time offender

Georgia often offers some leniency when it’s your first drug offense. Under the Georgia First Offender Act, you could keep your record clean by meeting certain conditions. Probation is also an option for first-time offenders.

Georgia has serious penalties for drug offenses, even if it’s over marijuana possession. You do, however, have the possibility of probation on first-time offenses.