Fulton County Drug Lawyer
Is marijuana illegal in Fulton County? It is. Marijuana is illegal everywhere in the State of Georgia, but some jurisdictions are choosing not to prosecute misdemeanor marijuana cases. Fulton County is still prosecuting these cases. Depending on the circumstances, drug-related criminal offenses in Georgia can vary in both how they are prosecuted and the consequences that may result from a conviction. These and other unique aspects of drug offenses make retaining a skilled criminal defense attorney a virtual necessity for anyone accused of this type of offense.
Whether you were charged with simple possession or possession with intent to sell, you deserve steadfast and capable legal representation. Consider talking to a Fulton County drug lawyer at Hawkins Spizman about the details of your case and about how you could best go about defending your rights and best interests.
Classifications of Illicit Drugs in Fulton County
Official Code of Georgia §§16-13-25 through 16-13-29.2 establishes the various categories—or “schedules”—by which the state of Georgia classifies illicit drugs. Schedule I is the most severe and includes drugs which have no recognized medical uses and are considered to be ripe for abuse based on their addictive qualities, while Schedule V is for drugs with low potential for abuse and have accepted medical purposes.
The aforementioned state statutes list every specific substance included in each drug schedule. O.C.G.A. §16-13-29.1 also excludes certain nonnarcotic from classification in any schedule.
Marijuana is not classified as a scheduled narcotic, although the possession and sale of marijuana is still prohibited in Georgia. Regardless of the specific drug involved in a criminal charge, a Fulton County drug attorney could work with an individual defendant to construct and pursue an effective defense strategy.
What are the Penalties for a Drug Offense
The criminal consequences associated with the possession of illicit drugs depends on both the schedule of the drug and the amount of the drug allegedly possessed. A first conviction for possession of a Schedule I or Schedule II drug may be punishable by a prison sentence between two and 15 years, and as much as 30 years in prison upon subsequent convictions. Possession of drugs in Schedules III through V may be punishable by one to 5 years in prison for a first offense, and one to 10 years for subsequent offenses.
If someone possesses less than one ounce of marijuana in Georgia, the associated criminal charge is a misdemeanor offense, which means that the maximum penalty upon conviction is a $1,000 fine and/or one year in county jail. However, possessing greater quantities of marijuana is classified as a felony offense punishable by a maximum $5,000 fine and as many as 10 years in prison, as this amount may be considered by prosecutors to be de facto evidence of intent to distribute.
Likewise, possession of other materials potentially related to drug distribution and production, like scales, bags, and production paraphernalia, may escalate penalties associated with charges related to scheduled drugs. An experienced drug lawyer in Fulton County could provide guidance about what consequences may result from a particular case and what options for mitigation may be available.
Seek Assistance from a Fulton County Drug Attorney Today
With the exception of possession of small amounts of marijuana, almost every drug-related offense codified under Georgia state law is a felony, which means significant fines and jail time may accompany a conviction. Given the severity of these charges and the potential consequences, you should not leave yourself at a disadvantage by failing to retain qualified legal counsel to help you make your defense.
By working with a seasoned Fulton County drug lawyer, you could put yourself in a strong position to seek the best possible resolution to your case. To discuss the legal options available to you, speak with one of our attorneys at Hawkins Spizman today.