Are There Different Levels of Drug Crimes?

The severity of penalties for drug crimes depends on the type and quantity of the controlled substance involved, whether you have prior criminal convictions, and whether there is evidence that you intended to convey the drug to other people.

Laws in many states reflect a growing belief that imposing draconian punishments on people caught using illegal drugs does little to reduce the prevalence of illegal drugs in society and creates a heavy burden, financial and otherwise, on the most vulnerable people. Despite that Georgia has taken measures toward criminal justice reform in other areas, it still has some severe penalties for low-level drug crimes. Georgia’s medical marijuana laws only allow registered patients to possess cannabis oil with low concentrations of THC, whereas some states allow you to buy marijuana leaves from licensed dispensaries or even grow your own cannabis plants. While statewide decriminalization of recreational marijuana is still a long way away, Atlanta and eight other places in Georgia have decriminalized possession of small quantities of marijuana at the city or county level. Besides these few examples, possession of controlled substances can easily get you felony charges in Georgia, even if the quantity of drugs is small. If you are being accused of possession of illegal drugs, contact an Atlanta drug crime charges attorney.

The Five Drug Schedules and How They Affect Your Case

Federal and state laws classify drugs that carry a substantial potential for misuse into five categories, known as schedules. The classification is not based on the chemical composition or potency of the drugs, but rather on the therapeutic potential and abuse potential of the drugs, according to the prevailing views of professionals in the fields of medicine, public health, and criminology. Schedule I drugs, such as heroin, are considered the most dangerous, while Schedule V drugs are the least dangerous. Cannabis is a special case because it is a Schedule I controlled substance at the federal level, but almost all states consider it less dangerous. The following are the maximum jail or prison sentences you can receive for possession of various drugs:

Is it Simple Possession or Something More Serious?

The penalties are severe enough when the quantity of the controlled substance is small and there is no evidence that you planned to sell or transport the drugs to someone else. If you get charged with drug distribution, manufacture, or trafficking, the possibility of a long prison sentence is even greater.

Contact Zimmerman & Associates About Drug Possession Cases in Atlanta

An Atlanta criminal defense attorney can help you if you are facing criminal charges for possession of a controlled substance. Contact Zimmerman & Associates in Atlanta, Georgia to set up a free consultation.