Drug Possession vs. Trafficking in Georgia

May 17, 2022

If you have been accused of drug possession or trafficking offense in Georgia, you don’t have to face your charges alone. Ryan Swingle Law can help.

Georgia has strict drug laws and severe penalties associated with drug offenses. These policies make it illegal to possess, distribute, deliver, sell, or manufacture controlled substances or marijuana, as stated by O.C.G.A. Section 13-30. The consequences for violating these laws vary depending on the type, category, and quantity of the substance.

Whether you have been charged with drug possession or with drug trafficking in Georgia, it’s advisable to consult an Athens Drug crimes attorney for legal advice and guidance. It is also important to understand the difference between drug possession and trafficking so you can fully understand the charges brought against you.


Drug possession is a crime where a person has physical custody of a controlled substance, or the substance is in a place that gives them the ability, power, and right to illegally possess the drugs. Drug possession crimes can be categorized into two:

  • Category 1 – Describes border-controlled drugs that have been illegally imported.
  • Category 2 – Describes domestic possession crimes not related to importation. This includes having custody of controlled drugs, possession of equipment for commercial or manufacture of drugs.

In Georgia, drug possession has hefty penalties. Depending on the type and the quantity of the drug, the punishment can range from minor fines and imprisonment. “Possession with intent to sell” has more serious penalties than just being in possession of controlled substances.


Drug trafficking describes a variety of criminal crimes related to the cultivation, sale, distribution, and manufacture of controlled substances. The main difference between drug possession and trafficking is that the latter entails transferring drugs to another person. Like drug possession, the type and quantity of the drug can impact the severity of criminal punishment.

A conviction of drug trafficking in Georgia can lead to a fine of $1 million and possible mandatory imprisonment of up to 25 years, based on the quantity and type of drug. There are also mandatory minimum sentences for drug trafficking charges, meaning that a judge must adhere to state-mandated guidelines when determining punishment regardless of the circumstances.


If you have been charged with a drug offense in Georgia, hiring an experienced Athens drug crimes attorney who understands how the local criminal justice system works is important. An attorney can help you navigate the judicial system, develop a strong defense, and protect your rights in court.


If you have been accused of drug possession or trafficking offense in Georgia, you don’t have to face your charges alone. Ryan Swingle Law can help. Contact us online or call us at (706) 708-0827 to discuss your case confidentially with Ryan Swingle, our lead Athens drug crimes attorney.