This blog recently discussed the serious nature of drug charges. It is important to note that some illicit drugs are treated more seriously than others. Cocaine, for instance, may be treated more seriously than marijuana; however, it is important to also keep in mind that all drug charges are serious. Cocaine charges in Georgia can have serious consequences so it is important to know what they are.

In Georgia, possessing any amount of cocaine results in a felony charge and may be punished with up to 15 years in prison even if it is the first offense. Possessing greater than one ounce of cocaine is considered trafficking because it presumably shows an intent to sell.

The penalties for cocaine possession and intent to distribute can be particularly harsh. First time offenders can face a minimum of one year in jail. The penalty for selling cocaine in Georgia can result in a prison sentence of 5 to 30 years. A second offense can result in a prison sentence of 40 years. Certain aggravating factors can also increase the penalty the accused individual may be facing. Additional penalties, including steep fines, community service and others may also be assigned.

Different options, such as drug court or drug diversion programs, may be available in Georgia and may result in different or reduced penalties and consequences, which is why it is important to be familiar with the range of criminal defense options that may be available to individuals accused of a drug crime. Individuals accused of drug crimes do not have to feel as though they have no options to help them because criminal defense options are their right.

Source: FindLaw, “Georgia Cocaine Laws,” Accessed May 30, 2016