A Brief Overview of Georgia Drug Laws

In Georgia, a person wilfully in possession of illegal controlled substances is breaking the law. Such substances include marijuana, cocaine, methamphetamine, LSD, and heroin, as well as certain prescription drugs without a valid prescription. It is also a crime to be in possession of chemicals that could be used to cultivate or manufacture these illegal substances, and a person carrying accessories or pieces of equipment relating to drug use can also be found guilty of breaking Georgia law.

Georgia treats possession of illegal substances very seriously, and those found with even a small quantity of these substances will automatically have their driver’s license suspended and may face serious penalties. If a person is convicted of drug possession in Georgia, their driving license will be suspended for six months on a first-time conviction, one year for a second-time conviction, and two years if convicted a third time.

Classifications of controlled substances under Georgia law

Illegal substances are divided into different schedules according to Georgia drug possession laws.

  • Schedule I covers illegal drugs that are not used for medication and have a high potential for abuse.
  • Schedule II includes substances that can cause a person to become either psychologically or physically dependent on them and might have the potential for abuse. Drugs under this classification do, however, have an accepted medical use (though this is highly restricted).
  • Schedule III covers drugs that could cause psychological or physical dependence, but the risk is low to moderate, and these substances are less likely to be abused. Drugs under this classification are also used for medical purposes.
  • Schedule IV includes illegal substances with limited possibility for psychological or physical dependence and a lower potential for abuse. Drugs under this classification are also used for medical purposes.
  • Schedule V covers drugs with highly limited potential for psychological or physical dependence and a very low possibility of dependence. Drugs under this classification are also used for medical purposes.

Penalties for drug possession under Georgia law

With the exception of marijuana, Georgia law considers any type of drug possession a felony. The penalties if convicted are:

  • Possession of any Schedule I or narcotic Schedule II drugs: a minimum of 2 and a maximum of 15 years in prison. If convicted a second time, a person could be given a sentence of up to 30 years in prison.
  • Possession of non-narcotic Schedule II drugs: a minimum of 2 and a maximum of 15 years in prison. If convicted again a person could face incarceration of 5-30 years.
  • Possession of Schedule III, IV, or V drugs: a minimum of 1 and maximum of 5 years in prison. If convicted again, the person may face anywhere from 1-10 years behind bars.

Marijuana Possession

If a person is found guilty of marijuana possession under Georgia law the penalties are:

  • Possession of 1oz or less is charged as a misdemeanor, and a person could face 1 year in prison and an additional fine of up to $1,000.
  • If a person is found in possession of more than 1oz, it is considered a felony and they may face between 1 and 10 years in prison and fines of up to $5,000.

At Pak and McRae Law, we provide clear, straightforward legal advice. If you or anyone you know has been charged with drug possession, our professional, experienced attorneys can help. Get in touch today at (678) 632-5298 for a free, confidential consultation.

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Pak & McRae Law

At Pak and McRae Law, LLC we provide straightforward, sincere criminal defense for local, state, and federal matters. Our team includes a former Assistant District Attorney, so we understand how prosecutors approach cases and will use those insights to benefit your case.

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