Georgia Drug Trafficking Laws

Drug trafficking refers to the manufacture, distribution, delivery, sale, or possession of large amounts of a controlled substance. Georgia drug trafficking laws apply federal mandatory minimum penalties for trafficking offenses and as a result those convicted may face substantial fines and lengthy prison sentences.

Youthful Accomplices

When young people are associated with drug trafficking there may be an additional charge. Georgia drug trafficking laws punish anyone hiring or engaging a person under the age of 17 to distribute or otherwise assist with controlled substance trafficking. This is a felony offense and can result in 5-20 years in prison.

Drug Weight Issues

There are some situations that clearly amount to trafficking activity. If you are caught producing or selling drugs you will likely be charged with trafficking. Often, however, a person is charged with drug trafficking when they are caught in possession of a quantity of drugs that suggests distribution and sale rather than personal use. Unfortunately, it can be very difficult to determine the quantity that will result in a trafficking charge since this is dependent on the type of drug in question, its purity, and whether it is in a suspension or other secondary medium (usually a fluid, used to preserve and transport a drug, but not itself intoxicating.) Georgia drug trafficking laws provide methods for determining the amount of drug minus impurities and suspensions.

The following is an overview of Georgia drug trafficking laws:

Statutes Georgia Code, Title 16, Chapter 13. Controlled Substances
Controlled Substance Classification

Georgia drug trafficking laws divide controlled substances into "schedules" as follows:

  • Schedule I: Drugs with a high potential for abuse and no accepted medical use.
  • Schedule II: Drugs with a high potential for abuse and the potential for psychological or physical dependence that have accepted medical uses under severe restriction.
  • Schedule III: Drugs with a lower chance of abuse, low or moderate potential for psychological or physical dependence and an accepted medical use.
  • Schedule IV: Drugs with a lower chance of abuse, limited potential for psychological or physical dependence, and an acceptable medical use.
  • Schedule V: Drugs with the lowest potential for abuse, limited potential for dependence, and accepted medical use.
Penalties

Georgia drug trafficking laws punish offenses as a felony. Penalties are as follows:

  • Possession of any Schedule I or narcotic Schedule II drugs: punishable with 5-30 years in prison. Subsequent convictions are punishable with 10-40 years or life in prison.
  • Possession of Schedule III, IV, or V drugs: punishable by 1-10 years in prison. Subsequent convictions are punishable with 1-10 years in prison.

Note: State laws are always subject to change through the passage of new legislation, rulings in the higher courts (including federal decisions), ballot initiatives, and other means. While we strive to provide the most current information available, please consult an attorney or conduct your own legal research to verify the state law(s) you are researching.

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Georgia drug trafficking laws carry significant penalties and there are many potentially aggravating factors. A lawyer can help you understand and potentially challenge the most complicated aspects, such as determining whether the quantity of drugs amounts to trafficking, or should have been charged with the less-serious possession crime. Get started today with a free legal evaluation of your drug-related case.

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