Best Defense for Drug Crimes Committed in Georgia
Georgia has some of the toughest drug laws in the country. Although there are a few exceptions, nearly all criminal charges involving controlled substances are felonies in Georgia.
According to the Georgia Department of Corrections, in 2019, Georgia admitted more than 8,900 men, women, and minor inmates for drug offenses, nearly 3,900 for first-time offenses. Not only do convictions often result in incarceration, probation, or rehabilitation, they can also result in lost jobs, homes, and personal relationships. With so much on the line, hiring an experienced drug crime attorney is crucial if you’ve been charged with or are being investigated for a drug crime.
For more than 30 years, the Law Offices of Harold J. Cronk, PC, has been defending clients in Savannah, Georgia, and surrounding communities for drug offenses related to illegal and prescription drugs. We will stand by your side and help you fight to protect your rights.
Common Drug Charges
The most prevalent charges for drug offenses fall into five categories, each carrying its own degree of severity:
- Purchase is the act of exchanging money or something else of value in exchange for drugs.
- Possession may be charged when someone is found with a small amount of drugs on them. If someone is found in possession of larger amounts of drugs or drugs that are bagged in smaller amounts or in possession of measuring equipment, that person may be charged with possession with intent to sell, which is a more serious crime.
- Manufacture is the production, preparation, propagation, compounding, conversion, or processing of a controlled substance.
- Distribution is delivering drugs other than dispensing or administering them.
- Sale is receiving money or something of value in exchange for providing drugs to someone else.
Possible Penalties Under Georgia Law
The Georgia Controlled Substance Act identifies a “controlled substance” as any drug, substance or immediate precursor listed in Schedules I through V. The Schedule numbers reflect the “seriousness” of a drug, based on several factors including the potential for abuse, whether or not the substance has any approved medical use, the likelihood of addiction, history and current pattern of abuse, and risk to public health.
Schedule I and II controlled substances carry the heaviest penalties. Schedule I substances are those with a high potential for abuse but no medical use. Schedule II drugs may have medical use but also have a high potential for abuse and for psychological or physical dependence.
Schedule III, IV, and V drugs all have medical uses but varying degrees of risk for abuse and dependence, with V having the least risk.
The lower the schedule number, the higher the penalties if convicted. Even a conviction for possession of a Schedule V substance can result in one to five years in prison for a first-time offender. In every conviction, even without prison, offenders lose their driver’s licenses for varying periods of time from six months to two years.
Defense for Drug Crimes in Georgia
A good criminal defense attorney will explore multiple avenues to prove innocence, get charges reduced, or in some cases, get charges dropped altogether. Those strategies might include proving:
- Unlawful search and seizure
- Someone else’s drugs
- Drugs were planted
- Medicinal use (Marijuana)
- No proof of intent (was in possession of drugs but had no intent to sell)
- Missing Evidence (State no longer has the drugs that were seized)
How Legal Counsel Can Help
Drug charges are matters of degree, based on both actions (possession, selling, manufacturing, etc) and on the type of controlled substances involved. Penalties also increase with repeat convictions. It’s complicated. And that’s why you need a highly experienced criminal defense attorney who knows how to take the unique set of circumstances in your case and present them in a manner that garners the best result for you.
At the Law Offices of Harold J. Cronk, PC, we are dedicated to providing the best criminal defense for clients arrested or being investigated for drug crimes in Savannah, Pooler, Tybee Island, Thunderbolt, Garden City, Bloomingdale, Port Wentworth, Chatham County, Georgia, and surrounding counties.
Don’t gamble with your future. Fight for it. Start by calling us today!