Marijuana cases range greatly in complexity and consequences. In Georgia Marijuana offenses can be felonies or misdemeanors. Depending on the nature of your charge, you may be facing from 1 to 30 years in confinement, along with a host of other consequences including fines, loss of your driver’s license, and forfeiture of your property, just to name a few.
You need an attorney with the knowledge and confidence to handle the “big” cases as well as the “just one joint” cases. You need an attorney who can guide you through the maze of potential consequences, and who can challenge the state, questioning how any pot was found, challenge the crime lab, and who can take your case to trial for you.
We hope you find our website’s information useful. No website can give you all the information you need, but we hope we’re able to give you some basic knowledge so that you can protect yourself as your case moves forward. Simply looking at our website will not create an attorney-client relationship, but we’ll be glad to set a consultation time with you as soon as possible.
Georgia Marijuana law is detailed and complicated, and no website can give you detailed answers about your specific case. This site is meant to give good information about common types of cases, and to get you started so you can understand some basics, and ask informed questions as your case moves forward. Most of the information we provide here is targeted at those with misdemeanor charges and who are 17 years old or older. If you are under the age of 17, or if you are charged with a felony, please feel free to call us with your specific questions, and we’d be glad to consult with you. We can be reached at 770-538-5160 or at email@example.com.
In Georgia, your marijuana charge can be a felony, a misdemeanor, or you may face multiple charges including misdemeanors and felonies. Several factors play into what type of charge you’re facing. How much marijuana are you accused of having? How close were you to schools, housing projects, etc…? Are you accused of sharing a joint with someone? Did you use a phone or email to schedule a purchase or pickup? Additionally, you are likely facing traffic tickets or other charges which law enforcement used as their “basis” for searching and/or finding marijuana on you. When speaking with an attorney, make sure you have all of your tickets, citations, bond sheets, and other documents ready so that you and the attorney can discuss them.
What are you facing?
In General: For each individual marijuana misdemeanor charge (normally possession of less than 1 ounce of marijuana),you’re looking at the following:
- up to 12 months in jail or on probation
- License Suspension for 6 months or more
- drug and alcohol evaluations
- fines of up to $1,000.00
- Collateral damage: You can be fired from your job, suspended or expelled from school, have trouble renting an apartment, and any number of other “non-legal” consequences as well.
First Time Convictions: Georgia law provides that, for a first time conviction of a marijuana misdemeanor, you may be eligible to complete a 12 month probation sentence (without entering a guilty plea or losing your license), including fees, classes, community service, drug screens, etc…, and if you are successful, then the Court will dismiss your case. If you are unsuccessful, the Court can simply find you guilty and sentence you accordingly. Prior to entering into this program, you need to speak with an attorney to fully understand the risks if you are unsuccessful, and to make sure you are aware of how technical and regimented the program is.
Which Charges Are Misdemeanors?
Basically, there are two misdemeanor marijuana charges in Georgia:
- Possession of less than 1 ounce of marijuana
- Possession of a drug related object.
Either or both of those charges will cause your license to be suspended and carry the consequences we’ve already discussed, even if you were not in a car when you got busted.
What can I do?
There are numerous defenses available in marijuana defense cases. Here are a few:
- Challenging the crime lab drug test
- Challenging the arrest and/or search revealing any marijuana
- Challenging or noting that other individuals had equal access to the marijuana seized
In addition, an aggressive attorney may be able to find or use against the prosecutor’s witnesses which may show a bias or motive against you. The facts of every case are different, but you need an attorney able to use every available approach to protect your rights and fight for the best result possible.
Which Charges Are Felonies?
All other marijuana charges in Georgia are Felonies. These can range from possession of more than 1 ounce all the way up to trafficking, with everything in between. Be careful though, as some charges that could be misdemeanors can very easily be “converted” to felonies. Here a couple of examples:
- Possession of less than 1 ounce of pot is typically a misdemeanor, but if possess that pot within 1,000 feet of a school or certain other locations, it is now a felony punishable by 1-10 years in prison.
- Possession of one joint would typically be a misdemeanor, but if you intend to “share” that joint with someone, you may now be charged with Possession of Marijuana with intent to distribute, which is also a felony.
- Also keep in mind that if you are charged with a drug felony, there is a completely separate and additional charge for using a communication device in the commission of the felony. This means that if you called, texted, or emailed anyone to schedule a pickup or meeting, then not only are you charged with the primary felony, but now you’re facing TWO charges. This second felony carries 1-4 years in confinement in addition to any sentence imposed on the original charge.
If you are confused as to whether you are charged with misdemeanors or felonies, please contact an attorney to discuss your case.
What Are You Facing?
The punishments for marijuana felonies ranges from 1-40 years in prison. There are different crimes for every scenario: Possession, Possession with intent, Possession with intent at a school, Possession at a school, Distribution, Distribution at a school, Trafficking, and the list goes on. You should know that fines can reach $1,000,000, and prison time is possible. In fact, some offenses even have a “mandatory minimum” sentence starting at 5 years in prison, some mandatory minimums start at 7 years. This means that if you enter a plea or are convicted of those offenses, the judge CANNOT give you less that that sentence, even if he wanted to.
- You are also facing forfeiture of any property involved with your offense, which means that if you drove to make a drop off or pickup, then law enforcement may take your car. The same could apply to real estate, phones, bank accounts, and any other property involved an any marijuana felony.
- In addition, you can lose scholarships, be expelled from college, lose your professional licenses (and of course your driver’s license).
Many, if not most, marijuana felony charges and their punishments are “duplicated” for other illegal drugs, in addition to marijuana.
If you have been charged with a marijuana (or other drug felony), please feel free to contact us to schedule a consultation about your specific case. As we’ve noted, a website is simply not able to discuss or fully educate you on all the consequences and technicalities you are facing.