Your Athens Drug Crime Lawyer
Swingle Levin LLC is your trusted Athens drug crime lawyer, providing skilled legal counsel and representation in drug crime cases. Contact us today for a confidential consultation.
Athens Drug Crime Attorney
As the opioid crisis continues, more people face charges for substance abuse offenses. Criminal charges involving drugs, whether for simple possession, trafficking, or manufacturing, can derail your life quickly. Unfortunately, sometimes, a careless, youthful mistake can lead to a felony conviction that follows you around for life.
In Georgia, the penalties for drug offenses are severe. Some people, however, may not realize that it is possible to violate the law just by having accessories associated with illegal drug use. Drug crimes refer to various drug-related offenses that can result in life-changing consequences for any convicted individual.
Here in Georgia, drug charges, most of which are felonies, are nothing to take lightly. Georgia’s drug prosecution system is complex, so you may consider hiring an experienced criminal defense attorney from Swingle Levin LLC to represent you. In this article, we delve into what constitutes drug crimes in Georgia and the role played by criminal defense attorneys in protecting your rights.
How Is a Drug Crime Defined Under Georgia Law?
There are many different types of drug-related crimes in Georgia. Below is a list of common categories of drug crimes.
Possessing a controlled substance is illegal, and it falls under the regulation of state and federal drug laws, such as the Georgia Controlled Substances Act and The Controlled Substances Act. In Georgia, drug possession charges can be categorized as misdemeanors or felonies, contingent upon factors such as the specific substance and the quantity involved.
Notably, you can face these charges even if the drugs were not physically on your person. Possession is categorized into two forms: actual and constructive possession. Actual possession refers to drugs found directly on an individual, like in their pocket. In contrast, constructive possession applies to situations where drugs are discovered in a person’s residence, vehicle, or place of business.
Manufacturing drugs/illegal substances is a crime if it involves any aspect of the manufacturing process. Illegally producing or creating controlled substances, such as methamphetamine or heroin, is usually a felony charge.
To be convicted of drug manufacturing, factors such as knowledge or intent of drug manufacturing are taken into consideration. Manufacturing can even refer to growing or producing illegal plants or substances. Growing a single plant of marijuana leads to felony charges in the state of Georgia.
Possessing drugs with the intent to distribute extends beyond personal use. It involves individuals having a quantity of drugs that exceeds what is reasonable for recreational purposes. The charge of intent to distribute pertains to possessing a substantial amount of drugs with the explicit intention of selling or distributing them. Proving this offense can be complex, and the consequences upon conviction are substantial.
It is also possible to elevate a possession charge to a distribution charge by presenting evidence such as scale, plastic bags, or large amounts of cash.
Possessing a controlled substance with the intention to sell, trade, or otherwise distribute it is usually a felony charge. When a certain amount of drugs is brought into the country or across state lines, drug trafficking charges can be brought against the person.
Drug trafficking charges are based on the weight and amount of the specific drug in question. Consequently, 28 grams of valium will carry a lighter sentence than 28 grams of heroin. The purity of the drug is often considered when determining charges and potential punishments.
The penalties for most trafficking offenses are extremely severe, often mandating mandatory minimum sentences of 10 or more years.
Conspiracy is a legal term that refers to an agreement or plan between two or more people to commit a crime or engage in illegal activities. The essential elements of conspiracy generally include:
- An agreement or understanding between at least two people.
- The intention to commit a crime or engage in unlawful activities.
- An overt act in furtherance of the conspiracy, which means at least one of the conspirators must take some action to move the plan forward.
It is important to note that a conspiracy charge does not require successfully completing the crime. The mere agreement and intention to commit the crime and an overt act are sufficient for a conspiracy charge.
Penalties for Drug Crimes
Drug crime penalties depend on the specific crime, the quality and quantity of the controlled substance, the schedule of drugs, and your criminal history.
Possession of Schedule I or Narcotic Schedule II Drugs may result in a sentence ranging from 2 to 15 years of incarceration, with subsequent convictions carrying the possibility of up to 30 years behind bars. Possession of non-narcotic Schedule II Drugs can lead to a 2 to 15-year prison term, and repeat offenses can result in sentences ranging from 5 to 30 years. For Possession of Schedule III, IV, or V Drugs, initial convictions can lead to 1 to 5 years in prison, while subsequent offenses may result in sentences of 1 to 10 years.
The sale or trafficking of any controlled substance is punished by 5 to 30 years in prison, depending on the quantity. Selling Schedule III, IV, or V controlled substances is a felony crime punishable by one to ten years in prison.
Along with these criminal penalties, drug convictions can negatively impact housing, employment, educational opportunities, driver’s licenses, and credit.
How a Drug Defense Attorney Can Help
Without legal representation, dealing with drug charges may be highly stressful, and the situation can rapidly become graver if you have a history of drug charges. At Swingle Levin LLC, we want to safeguard your rights and can help you in the following ways as you navigate the criminal justice system of Athens, Georgia:
- Legal Knowledge: We possess in-depth knowledge of Georgia’s drug laws and regulations, enabling us to identify legal defenses, navigate complexities, and protect your rights throughout the case.
- Evidence Scrutiny: Our attorneys meticulously review evidence (collected by police officers or otherwise), challenging its legality, authenticity, and chain of custody to weaken the prosecution’s case.
- Negotiation Skills: We engage in plea negotiations, seeking reduced charges or penalties, and explore alternatives like drug court diversion for rehabilitation-focused sentencing.
- Trial Representation: In court, our attorneys vigorously advocate for you, cross-examine witnesses, and present a strong defense strategy to challenge the prosecution’s case.
- Appeal Process: If convicted, we can file appeals based on legal errors or sentencing issues to seek a more favorable outcome for your drug crime case in Georgia.
Contact Swingle Levin LLC Today!
If you or a loved one are facing the daunting challenges of drug crime or violent crimes charges in Georgia, remember that you don’t have to navigate this legal maze alone. Our dedicated team of experienced attorneys is here to stand by your side, providing guidance, unwavering support, and a strong defense. We understand the complexities of drug crime cases and are committed to safeguarding your rights and future. Don’t wait; take action now by reaching out to our law firm for a free consultation. Together, we can work towards a favorable outcome for your case and ensure your voice is heard in the justice system.