Alpharetta Drug Lawyer
Drug charges can have harsh results, even for first-time offenders. Depending on the nature of the drug, the amount found by law enforcement, and whether the charge involves possession or distribution, you could face years in prison and be ordered to pay expensive fines. Although some controlled substances are legal for those who have a valid prescription, they still can form the basis for criminal drug charges in some cases.
Regardless of the type of drug charges you are facing, you are likely to need a well-versed defense attorney’s help sorting out the charges against you. Enlisting the service of an Alpharetta drug lawyer may give you a better chance of preserving your reputation and achieving a positive resolution to your case.
Possession of Drugs in Alpharetta
Individuals may face charges for possession of drugs if law enforcement officials find drugs on their person or within their physical control. Possession charges also may be levied when individuals attempt to purchase illicit drugs. The specific charges and penalties for drug crimes in Alpharetta depend on the classification of the drug and the weight of the drug at the time of possession.
Like many other state and federal laws, Georgia law divides controlled substances into various schedules according to the dangerousness of the drug, its likelihood of dependency for users, and any legitimate medical usage. Schedule I drugs are generally the most dangerous and addictive drugs with no valid medical use, and Schedule V drugs typically pose the least danger of misuse.
Although some larger cities in Georgia have decriminalized the possession of less than one ounce of marijuana, marijuana remains uniformly illegal under state and federal law. Possession of a small amount of marijuana is a misdemeanor, but possession of any quantity of most other controlled substances is a felony offense under Official Code of Georgia §16-13-30. A drug lawyer in Alpharetta may be able to help build a defense to drug possession charges.
Purchase, Manufacturing, and Distribution of Controlled Substances
Possession of larger amounts of drugs often results in more serious charges involving the purchase, manufacture, distribution, or possession with intent to distribute drugs. Aside from the physical amount of drugs present, other factors that may lead to distribution charges may include:
- Documented observations of frequent visits of short duration by others to the homes of individuals
- Large amounts of cash and weapons along with drugs
- Paraphernalia typically used to distribute drugs, such as baggies and scales
Penalties depend on the weight or quantity of the drugs found by law enforcement officers, the schedule of the drugs, and various other circumstances. Even for first-time offenders, drug trafficking charges can have harsh consequences, so individuals may wish to consult an Alpharetta drug attorney for legal representation when facing these potentially severe consequences.
Penalties for Possession and Distribution of Drugs
For drug possession offenses involving Schedule I controlled substances and Schedule II narcotic drugs, the penalties vary by the weight of the drug possessed. For example, possession of less than one gram of these substances can result in a prison term ranging from one to three years. Conversely, possession of between four and 28 grams of these substances could result in a term of incarceration of between one and 15 years, with some exceptions.
Convictions for the distribution of controlled substances and narcotic drugs carry the potential for far more severe penalties. For instance, individuals convicted of felony distribution of a Schedule I or II controlled substance could face penalties that range from five to 30 years in prison. A second offense could result in incarceration from a minimum of ten years to life in prison.
Many jurisdictions in Georgia have initiated courts designed to treat a Defendant with a drug abuse problem, or a history of multiple drug offenses. These “Drug Courts” offer an alternative to a lengthy jail stay if the Defendant is willing to pursue tackling their addiction. Drug Courts involve substantial counseling, routine and random drug screens, regular meetings with the judge and other Defendants in the program, community service, and there is a financial cost as well. If you or a family member has faced addiction, Drug Court is a subject you may want to discuss with an experienced lawyer.
Call an Alpharetta Drug Attorney Today
The most effective means of minimizing the impact of drug charges on your life may be to call an Alpharetta drug lawyer for advice. Working to overcome drug charges may be difficult, but there are defenses, drug courts programs, and diversion programs that may be available to you depending on your circumstances.
Legal assistance may be a necessary component to successfully resolving the charges against you. Get in touch with a legal representative today to see what may be possible in your case.