Facing a drug charge can be daunting, especially when you consider the serious consequences on the table. But you may find some leniency when looking at a first-time charge that can allow you to avoid harsher punishments from the court.
Georgia law allows for you to request a conditional discharge if you’ve never had a drug conviction before. But it’s not a free ride out of the court system, as the benefits intertwine with requirements.
Meeting the court’s provisions can mean you’re getting off easy:
- Probation: While a drug charge could easily result in jail time, you may only be looking at probation. While the length of the term is up to the courts, the statute limits the sentence to three years.
- Rehabilitation: You may have to undergo education and treatment, along with probation. Programs may range from mere assessments on up to inpatient plans, depending on what the judge considers appropriate.
- Discharge: One of the long-lasting perks of conditional discharge is possibly avoiding a conviction that will go on your record. The courts will usually postpone the final waiving of a decision of guilt until you successfully complete any probation and rehabilitation, and pay restitution the judge orders.
Georgia law can provide an alternate path to navigate your drug charge, but you’ll have to play by the rules to take advantage of the route. Make sure you know what the court expects of you, and you could reap the benefits allotted to first-time offenders.