Penalties for Federal Drug Crimes in Georgia
Federal drug crimes in Georgia can range from drug possession to drug trafficking, drug distribution, intent to distribute, and possession of controlled substances. These drug crimes are considered a serious offense in the state of Georgia, and they result in severe penalties. If you have been arrested and charged with a federal drug crime in Savannah, Georgia, contact an attorney immediately.
What Determines the Degree of Your Punishment for a Federal Drug Crime?
In 2018, the FBI estimated that there were 1,654,282 arrests for drug law violations in the United States. Of these, 86.4% (1,429,300) were for possession of a controlled substance. In general, federal criminal charges are more complex and carry harsher penalties than misdemeanor charges. However, the degree of your punishment will be determined by a variety of elements, such as:
- Your criminal history
- The quantity of the drug in your possession
- Schedule classification of the drug possessed
- The purpose of the drug possession
Although selling, producing, and manufacturing illegal drugs are the most serious types of federal drug crimes, the intent to distribute drugs can bring about severe criminal penalties as well. It's important to meet with an experienced criminal defense lawyer to better understand the charges against you, as well as your rights.
Range of Penalties for Federal Drug Crimes in Georgia
Under federal or state laws, a person can be charged with trafficking, distributing, manufacturing, or cultivating drugs. Below are the types and range of penalties for federal drug charges in Georgia.
You may be facing drug possession charges if a law enforcement officer finds a controlled substance in your possession or on a property (car, house, and so forth) registered in your name. If you have been arrested and charged with drug possession, the penalties you may face include hefty fines, suspension of your driver’s license, community service, forfeiture of property, probation, and/or jail time.
If convicted, drug trafficking offenders face huge fines and lengthy jail and probation time. The potential for harsh sentences may also increase depending on whether the drugs were sold or distributed to minors, whether narcotics were transported across state lines, and what type of drug was found in your possession. Any individual suspected of producing, distributing, transporting, or selling illegal narcotics may face drug trafficking charges.
You may face drug distribution charges if there is substantial evidence that you engaged in selling or transporting illegal narcotics. Punishment for drug distribution charges includes a minimum of one year in jail, costly fines, substantial community service, and a lengthy period of probation.
Intent to Distribute
You can be charged with an intent to distribute if the quantity of the drug in your possession exceeds a reasonable amount for personal consumption. The intent to distribute is a felony offense and comes with severe penalties. These penalties can range from probation to hefty fines and prison time. Other life consequences when charged with intent to distribute include loss of voting privileges, loss of employment opportunities, canceled scholarships, and more.
Possession of Controlled Substances
Drugs and narcotics have been classified by the government according to their medical benefits and addictive qualities. Many of these controlled substances are categorized under the five schedule classifications. You can be charged with the possession of a controlled substance if you are found with medications that are controlled substances and your name is not inscribed on the prescription bottle. Here is a breakdown of these drug schedules:
- Schedule I: These are substances with a high potential for abuse. They are not permissible for medical use and treatment. These include hard drugs like heroin, MDMA, and LSD.
- Schedule II: These substances have a high potential for abuse but are currently allowed for medical use and treatment. These include amphetamines and cocaine.
- Schedule III: These substances have less potential for abuse compared to Schedule I or Schedule II drugs and are accepted for medical use and treatment. These include some depressants, stimulants, and anabolic steroids.
- Schedule IV: This category includes certain depressants and stimulants. Substances like these have an even lower potential for abuse than Schedule III drugs. They can be used medically or for treatment purposes.
- Schedule V: This category includes limited quantities of narcotic drugs. They have an even lower potential for abuse compared to Schedule IV substances and are accepted for medical use and treatment purposes.
The purchase or possession of any of these controlled substances can lead to various charges ranging from prescription fraud to drug possession, or possession with intent to distribute.
Why You Should Work With an Experienced Criminal Defense Attorney
If you are facing federal drug charges in Georgia, you should contact a criminal defense attorney who has experience with federal drug cases. You should take advantage of this because the penalties for drug crimes can be very harsh, with fines for federal drug charges reaching tens of thousands of dollars, and incarceration ranging from decades to life in prison.
Our knowledgeable criminal defense attorneys at the Law Offices of Harold J. Cronk, PC can fight vigorously on your side to possibly get the charges against you reduced or dropped, or to offer an alternative sentencing measure as opposed to incarceration. If you need an aggressive criminal defense team in the Savannah, Georgia area for your federal drug charges, the Law Offices of Harold J. Cronk, PC is where you should turn.
Your Savannah Area Criminal Defense Team
Having an experienced, skilled criminal defense team is vital. If you have been falsely accused, arrested, or charged with a drug-related crime, call the Law Offices of Harold J. Cronk, PC today. We have decades of experience representing individuals in federal drug cases. Contact us today to build your defense and pursue your case aggressively. We serve clients in Chatham County, Pooler, Tybee Island, Thunderbolt, Garden City, and neighboring areas of Georgia.