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Drug Crimes

Metro Atlanta and North Georgia Drug Crime Lawyers

Representing with Offices in Atlanta, Kennesaw, and Marietta

What is the Georgia Controlled Substance Act?

The state of Georgia regulates all drugs under the Georgia Controlled Substances Act. Under this act, any possession of a controlled substance can be charged as a misdemeanor or felony. The consequences of Violation of the Georgia Controlled Substances Act (VGCSA) can have far-reaching and unexpected impacts on the rest of your life. Even a first-time conviction for misdemeanor marijuana possession, for example, can result in jail time, expensive fines, and a mandatory suspension of your driver's license.

Whether your charge involves simple possession of cannabis, cocaine, heroin, methamphetamine, prescription drugs or any other scheduled controlled substance or if your case involves intent to distribute, it is best that you call an experienced drug defense attorney to represent you case.

Schedule your free consultation with The Dickerson Firm – DUI and Drug Defense Attorneysby calling (678) 903-1336 or submitting a contact form today.

Pre-Trial Diversion

Georgia’s pre-trial diversion program allows first time offenders of certain offenses to complete specific program requirements like counseling and community service to obtain a dismissal of their case. Upon successful completion of the program, the charges against the individual will be dismissed and eligible for expungement from their criminal record.

First-time offenders who have not been arrested before or been convicted of a misdemeanor or felony can apply for a diversion program. To be eligible a person must not have already participated in any other program before or have any other pending charges. Some examples of crimes that qualify for the program include misdemeanor possession of marijuana, minor in possession of alcohol, and theft by shoplifting.

First Offenders

Georgia has special sentencing for first-time offenders, depending on the severity of the alleged crime. If the crime is relatively minor, a judge can decide whether Georgia’s First Time Offender Act will apply to the sentencing. Georgia’s First Offender Act offers special non-standard plea options for first offenders, and after they serve their sentence their first-time offense will be removed from their criminal record.

Penalties

First-time convictions of drug possession are punishable by 2-15 years in jail for Schedule I or narcotic Schedule II drugs, as well as for non-narcotic Schedule II. For Schedule III, IV, or V drugs, first-time offenses carry 1-5 years in prison. Anyone convicted under Georgia drug possession laws will also have their driver's license suspended for 6 months upon a first offense.

Conditional Discharge

The aim of conditional discharge is to educate offenders and provide them with the knowledge to reintegrate into society and not commit the same offense. In drug possession cases, a judge will normally impose a drug rehabilitation program as part of a defendant's conditions. After successful completion of all the program requirements, the court will dismiss the charges an individual has pled guilty to, and the defendant can move forward as if they were never convicted.

In order to qualify for a conditional discharge in Georgia, an individual must either be charged as a first-time offender of a drug crime or as a minor for purchasing or possessing alcohol. Drugs relevant to the first-offense qualification can be narcotic drugs, marijuana, stimulants, depressants, or hallucinogenic drugs.

Let an Experienced Attorney Help

A good law firm can make the difference between a felony conviction and a clean criminal record. With proper and effective representation, most first offenders can avoid conviction and even expunge the arrest from their record. Every case is unique and has its own specific details, but The Dickerson Firm – DUI and Drug Defense Attorneys can efficiently investigate the facts of your case to determine if your rights were violated and how to proceed in the legal process. The drug attorneys at the firm are experienced VGCSA litigators; Attorney Jeff Dickerson is a former narcotics and organized crime prosecutor with extensive experience handling VGCSA offenses, from misdemeanor marijuana possession to trafficking cocaine. If you have been arrested for VGCSA, our attorneys can help fight for your defense.

Call (678) 903-1336 or fill out this online contact form to schedule your free consultation today.