What are the Penalties for Having Drugs in Your Car in GA?

If you are found with drugs in your car in Georgia, you could face harsh penalties, including prison time.

The State of Georgia takes drug crimes very seriously. The penalties individuals face upon conviction vary depending on the nature of the crime, the type of drug, and the amount the person possessed at the time. It is a common misconception that a person must have drugs physically on them to face criminal charges. Even if drugs are near you or in your control, such as when they are in your vehicle, you can still be charged with a crime. A Georgia criminal defense attorney can help you beat the charges.

Classification of Illegal Drugs in Georgia

Under Georgia’s Controlled Substances laws, drugs are categorized into different schedules. There are five schedules in total, with drugs considered the most dangerous and most addictive classified as Schedule I drugs and the least dangerous drugs with little chance of addiction are classified as Schedule V drugs. For example, Schedule I includes drugs such as heroin and ecstasy, while Schedule V includes drugs that have low levels of codeine and opium. Possessing most of the drugs outlined in the law is illegal unless a person has a valid prescription for them.

Actual vs. Constructive Possession

Most people understand that when a person is found with drugs on their person, such as in their pocket or purse, they can be charged with drug possession. Georgia law recognizes two types of possession and those are actual and constructive. Actual possession refers to when drugs are found on your person. Constructive possession, on the other hand, refers to when you have control over the drugs, such as when they are found in a vehicle you are driving. Either type of possession results in the same penalties.

Penalties for Constructive Possession of Illegal Drugs

Without the help of an attorney who can prepare a strong defense in your case, you will face many possible penalties if drugs are found in your car. Prison sentences will vary depending on the type of drug and whether you have a criminal history. Being found with less than one ounce of marijuana, for example, can result in up to one year in jail, while any other offense for possession of a Schedule I or II drug can result in up to 30 years in prison.

In addition to prison sentences, your driver’s license will also be suspended, and you will also be required by the court to pay fines, which can be quite high.

Call Our Drug Possession Lawyers in Georgia for the Strong Defense You Need

If law enforcement has found drugs in your vehicle, you need sound legal advice from a Georgia drug possession lawyer. At Zimmerman & Associates, our skilled attorneys know the defenses that can help you beat the charges and will use them effectively so you can retain your freedom. Call us today at (770) 350-0100 or contact us online to schedule a free meeting with one of our knowledgeable attorneys.