The State of Georgia is fierce in prosecuting drug crimes. Mere possession of a drug, other than a small amount of marijuana is a felony that can follow an individual for life. Here are a few highlights of Georgia drug laws and practices:
Georgia Drug Laws: Marijuana
1. Marijuana under an ounce is a misdemeanor. If you are caught with more marijuana, you can be charged with a felony and that can carry prison time depending on the amount.
2. A marijuana misdemeanor may be eligible for diversion, meaning a defendant could avoid a guilty plea, complete probation, and have the case dismissed.
Georgia Drug Laws: Conditional Discharge
Under Georgia law, a first-time drug offender may be eligible to go through probation or complete a program ordered by the Court and, upon completion, have the case dismissed.
Georgia Drug Laws: Probation & Drug Treatment
Probation for drug crimes can be lengthy. It’s not uncommon for probation to last multiple years, depending on the type or combination of drugs for which someone is convicted. Probation may also involve court ordered drug treatment, possibly inpatient treatment. The Georgia Department of Corrections also runs a strict 9 month inpatient drug treatment program called RSAT. This, too, may be court ordered as part of the resolution to drug charges.
Georgia Drug Laws: RSAT
RSAT stands for Residential Substance Abuse Treatment. Administered by the Department of Corrections, it is an intense nine month inpatient substance abuse treatment program. RSAT is run at four different locations in the State. Many defendants prefer, if able and allowed as part of a probationary sentence or bond condition, to enter private residential treatment as opposed to RSAT. For more information on RSAT and related GDOC programs, here is a link to their website. http://www.dcor.state.ga.us/Divisions/InmateServices/RiskReduction/RSAT
Georgia Drug Laws: Prescription Drugs
Possession of prescription drugs without a prescription is a felony. That means if you are caught with a single prescription pill not prescribed to you, you could convicted of a felony. Even carrying your own prescribed drugs outside of the bottle in which a prescription was packaged by the pharmacy is a misdemeanor.
Georgia Drug Laws: Illegal Drugs Other Than Marijuana
Mere possession of an illegal drug other than a small amount of marijuana is a felony. Depending on the amount and type of drug, penalty for conviction could carry years in prison. While mere possession is a felony, proof of manufacturing illegal drugs or distributing illegal drugs subjects a defendant to harsher felony penalties, including lengthy prison sentences.
Georgia Drug Laws: Drug DUI
Any amount of an illegal drug in your bloodstream is proof of DUI. The presence of illegal drugs in the system while in control of a motor vehicle is in itself the crime of DUI drugs. If you are convicted of a drug DUI in Georgia, you are not eligible for any type of driving permit in the State for 6 months.
Georgia Drug Laws: Defending Georgia Drug Crimes
Georgia is tougher in many ways in its prosecution of drug possession and distribution crimes than surrounding states. Defense of drug crimes requires serious attention and advocacy. Successful outcomes for defendants depend also on the willingness of the individual to seek help for drug abuse, when such help is warranted.