Sandy Springs Drug Lawyer
Depending on the type of drug and the amount involved, drug-related criminal charges can have a wide variety of consequences. A misdemeanor conviction for possession of marijuana may often lead to only a small fine, but various other offenses are prosecuted as felonies punishable by severe fines and potentially years in jail.
In order to ensure you can fight for your future as effectively as possible, you will want to consider seeking assistance from an experienced criminal defense attorney. With a knowledgeable and dedicated Sandy Springs drug lawyer by your side, you could rest assured that your rights will be protected and that you are better equipped to defend yourself in court.
How Drugs Are Classified in Sandy Springs
Georgia courts do not paint all substances deemed to be illicit with the same broad prosecutorial brush. Instead, Official Code of Georgia §§16-13-24 through 16-13-29 divide illegal substances into different schedules based on their harmful effects and potential for abuse. A Sandy Springs drug attorney could go into further detail about these classifications and what they may mean for a particular case.
Schedule I is the most severe classification, as it is reserved for drugs like heroin, LSD, Methamphetamine, and MDMA (“ecstacy” or “molly”) that have no medical functionality and are highly subject to abuse. Schedule II substances like opium, morphine, and fentanyl are similar to Schedule I substances in that they are deemed to have a high potential for abuse, but they are categorized as less severe because they have some legitimate uses.
Schedule III includes drugs like anabolic steroids, certain barbiturates, and other substances that may be addictive to some degree but which also have some legitimate uses. Finally, schedules IV and V are reserved for drugs that have a low potential for abuse and more common medical purposes. The former schedule includes prescription drugs like Ambien and Klonopin, while the latter is generally reserved only for certain mixtures with limited narcotics in them.
Penalties for Drug-Related Offenses
Illicit possession of any substance classified into one of the five aforementioned schedules is a felony offense in Georgia, with more severe penalties possible for higher schedules of drugs. First offenses for possession of Schedule III, IV, and/or V drugs may be punished by a maximum of five years in prison, but this time span increases to 15 years with a minimum of two years for Schedule I and II drugs. Subsequent offenses after an initial conviction may result in even longer prison sentences, as may allegations of possession with the intent to distribute.
It is important to note that possession of less than an ounce of marijuana is only a misdemeanor according to O.C.G.A. §16-13-2(b). However, possession of more than one ounce of marijuana is a felony, and those convicted may face a minimum prison sentence of one year up to a maximum of ten years, as well as a fine of up to $5,000. Given the significant difference between these two charges, it may be especially important to retain help from a Sandy Springs drug lawyer when dealing with allegations of marijuana trafficking.
Discuss Legal Options with a Sandy Springs Drug Attorney
For many people, a drug possession charge may be the first criminal allegation they have ever faced. Even if you have a previous criminal record or are facing a more serious offense, you deserve knowledgeable legal representation and assistance pursuing a favorable outcome. At Hawkins Spizman, LLC, we have helped many people keep drug charges off of their permanent record. We have also helped many people who are genuinely suffering from substance abuse, get the help they need, while we protect their interests in the criminal justice system. Call a Sandy Springs drug lawyer today to find out what may be possible in your case.