Heroin is a highly addictive drug that can have serious consequences for those who use it. As such, Georgia vigorously enforces its heroin laws, outlined in the Georgia Controlled Substances Act. If caught, depending on the circumstances, the defendant can end up serving life in prison and pay up to $500,000 in fines.
Understanding heroin charges in Georgia
Georgia categorizes heroin under Schedule I controlled substances, which are drugs that have a high potential for abuse and no recognized medical use. The state considers any possession of heroin a felony charge and carries heavy penalties depending on the amount in question. For example, possessing less than one gram of heroin is punishable by up to 15 years in prison and fines up to $10,000, while possessing more than 28 grams could land you life imprisonment and fines up to $500,000.
The sale or distribution of heroin also holds serious consequences in Georgia. If caught selling or distributing between 1-4 grams of heroin, you could face anywhere from five to ten years in jail plus fines up to $100,000. Selling over 28 grams can result in life in prison and up to $500,000 in fines.
Finally, controlled substance trafficking is a felony offense that can trigger federal drug charges, depending on the amount of heroin in question. Georgia considers trafficking to be the exchange of heroin for anything else—even if it’s a non-monetary item, like clothes or food. Trafficking over 28 grams can result in life imprisonment plus fines up to $500,000. Federal agencies may also seize any homes, vehicles or assets related to the crime.
The above consequences are just the bare minimum regarding heroin charges. Some circumstances can aggravate the charges, such as if law enforcement found the defendant to have a gun or if they’re caught selling heroin within 1,000 feet of a school. In these cases, the penalties could be much harsher.