#Possession #Marijuana #Georgia
Although it is a comparatively less dangerous drug than some of the others that share its classification, marijuana possession in Georgia still carries severe sentences and penalties if convicted.
Not only will you be subject to jail time and heavy fines, but a conviction can lead to unintended consequences. This can include the inability to pursue certain professional occupations, ineligibility for admission to specific graduate programs, as well as loss of eligibility for some types of government assistance that many depend on.
Understanding the laws and process surrounding a marijuana possession charge is the first step in preventing this issue from becoming a major long-term problem in your life. Since the burden of proof is on the prosecution to prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt, a strong defense approach to this issue could help you reduce the charges, or possibly dismiss them.
OCGA §16-13-2 states that possession of less than one ounce of marijuana is a misdemeanor and can be punishable by up to one year in jail and a fine of up to $ 1,000. In certain cases, a person can perform community service for up to 12 months. Alternatively, a person who is a first-time offender may also be eligible for deferred adjudication or probation under OCGA § 16-13-2 (a).
If you were allegedly found with an ounce or more of marijuana, you will most likely be charged with a felony, which comes with a presumed sentence of one to ten years in jail and / or fines of up to $ 10,000.
The state of Georgia differentiates between different “types” of possession. Under the Georgia Code, a suspected criminal must have actual or implied possession of marijuana to be charged.
• Actual possession: generally means that the marijuana was in the alleged offender’s hand, on his body, on his clothing, or within his immediate reach.
• Constructive Possession – Generally means that the alleged offender was able to take control of the marijuana, intended to actually take possession of the marijuana, and knew that the marijuana was in his or her presence. Due to all the requirements necessary to constructively convict, this is a much more difficult charge to prosecute.
Although apparently unrelated to the alleged crime in question, the state of Georgia also requires that if you have been convicted of marijuana possession, your license also be suspended (OCGA 40-5-75). He will reportedly receive a 180-day driver’s license suspension for a first conviction, a one-year suspension for a second conviction, and five years for third-time convicts. Regardless of the situation, you also cannot apply for a limited or difficulties driving license. Regarding reinstatement of your license, you will need to complete a Drug Risk Reduction program and pay a reinstatement fee of $ 200.
With the myriad of negative consequences that develop after a marijuana possession conviction, an effective defensive strategy is vital to avoid these extremely punitive and anxiety-provoking penalties. If you choose to work with a Georgia criminal defense attorney, it is best to get this job done as soon as possible. This allows your attorney to conduct any necessary independent investigation, consult witnesses and experts, or gather urgent information.