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What is drug trafficking in Georgia?

If you hear that your charges include drug trafficking, you know that you face serious criminal charges. Drug trafficking charges often follow if the police suspect you of drug distribution, the manufacturing of drugs, delivering drugs, selling drugs or possessing large amounts of drugs. And, our state follows the federal mandatory minimum penalties, which means that, if you are convicted, you face a long prison sentence and substantial fines.

Georgia law

According to Georgia Code, Sections 16-13-31 and 16-13-31.1, the actual drug trafficking charges you face are based on the type of controlled substance involved and the quantity of the reported illegal drug. For example, if you are busted with 28 grams of cocaine, you could face felony trafficking charges. The mandatory minimum term is 10 years and a $200,000 fine.


The penalties only get harsher as the amounts involved increase. The maximum is 25 years with a $1 million fine, which is attached to possessing 400 grams of cocaine or more.

And, the drug itself also matters. For example, 4 grams of heroin could result in 5 years in jail and a $50,000 fine. If the amount increases to 28 grams or more, then the years in jail rise to 25 with the fine increasing to $500,000.

How the drugs are sold also matters. For example, Georgia has a separate law that punishes people for hiring people under 17 to sell or assist with drug trafficking. It is a felony charge that is punishable by a minimum of 5 years in prison and a maximum of 20 years.

The takeaway

If you are being investigated, ask for an attorney immediately. Criminal charges, like drug trafficking, carry stiff penalties that can negatively impact the rest of your life.