DeKalb County Drug Lawyer
DeKalb County is not a jurisdiction that is lenient when it comes to drug offenses. A conviction for a drug-related offense could result in severe consequences that could significantly impact your life moving forward. To name just a few examples, a conviction could make it difficult for you to find employment, take out a loan, or move to a new area.
Considering the detrimental effects a drug-related offense could have on your life, it may be worthwhile to retain the services of a skilled criminal attorney if you find yourself facing such a charge. A knowledgeable DeKalb County drug lawyer could fight to protect your rights and work towards achieving a positive outcome on your behalf.
Law Enforcement’s Approach to Drug-Related Offenses
State law treats drug crimes differently depending on the type of substance involved. Most drugs are assigned to one of five schedules, with Schedule I substances being considered the most dangerous. A DeKalb County drug attorney may be able to argue that a charge involving a Schedule I or II substance should be treated as a violation involving a less dangerous substance due to the quantity, formulation, or concentration involved.
Schedule I & II Drugs
Drugs with no “currently accepted medical use” and a greater potential for abuse are placed on Schedule I. Examples include opium derivatives such as heroin and hallucinogens like LSD.
Substances listed on Schedule II have a potential for abuse that may be just as great, but they also have some acceptable medical uses, primarily for pain management. Schedule II drugs include hydrocodone, morphine, and amphetamines.
Schedule III & IV Drugs
Drugs on Schedule III have some potential for abuse with a lesser likelihood of dependence in comparison to Schedule I and II drugs. Examples include narcotics such as small concentrations of codeine and morphine, and anabolic steroids such as dihydrotestosterone.
Finally, the substances on Schedules IV and V have lower potentials for abuse and frequent accepted medical uses. The commonly prescribed pain killer tramadol is listed in Schedule IV, along the with the sedative-hypnotic sleeping medicine zolpidem.
Severity of Marijuana Offenses
Technically, marijuana is listed as a Schedule I substance, meaning that offenses connected with the substance can be penalized very harshly. However, state and local laws often treat marijuana differently than other Schedule I substances.
The state has legalized the production of medical marijuana, but users must suffer from specified medical conditions in order to obtain a prescription. Also, medical users may only possess cannabis oil with a low concentration of THC.
Conflicting Standards for Possession
State law treats possession of one ounce or less of marijuana as a misdemeanor under Official Code of Georgia §16-13-2(b). Anyone convicted of this crime may be imprisoned for up to one year and required to pay a fine of up to $1,000. However, A drug lawyer in DeKalb County could help a person charged with this offense build an argument contesting this type of charge.
Furthermore, many local laws have “decriminalized” possession of small amounts of marijuana in some parts of DeKalb County, but that does not make the substance legal. Those caught in possession of marijuana may still be convicted of a violation of a city ordinance.
Moreover, the state law overrides the more lenient local laws, and police may charge a person with possession under either law at their discretion. However, the laws also provide for alternative penalties in some situations, particularly those involving simple possession without the intent to distribute.
Many drug offenses are treated as felonies punishable by many years of imprisonment and hefty fines. For example, first-time offenders may be placed on probation without a judgment of guilt under O.C.G.A. §16-13-2(a) if they agree to undergo rehabilitation.
Contact a DeKalb County Drug Attorney Today
When you work with a DeKalb County drug lawyer, you could have a legal advocate on your side to look for every available opportunity for a positive outcome with your interests in mind. Your attorney could also explain and help you evaluate your options, while at the same time speaking on your behalf throughout the proceedings. To learn more about the advantages of working with an experienced drug defense attorney, call now.