If you have been charged with drug-related crime in the state of Georgia, you may be wondering what the future holds if you are convicted. While many people facing drug charges may face time in prison and significant financial penalties, there are alternatives available for first-time, non-violent offenders.
Drug possession charges can result in serious consequences for the accused and their family, which is why it is so beneficial to develop defense strategies immediately after being charged, especially when one faces drug charges. The defense strategy used will vary depending on the facts of one's case, but there are a few defense strategies that are used time and time again.
Most of us are aware that selling illicit substances is illegal in the state. However, many people are unaware that drug dealers may face various drug charges and even a felony charge for murder if the person they sold the drugs to overdosed on the drugs they received from the dealer.
Many drug possession cases arise out of traffic stops. Police pull over a driver for speeding, running a stop sign, or perhaps something as simple as a malfunctioning tail light. The officers then use the opportunity to search the driver's person and vehicle for illegal drugs.
Some of the most serious drug crimes in Georgia relate to drug trafficking, or the manufacturing, sale and distribution of large amounts of controlled substances. Five people are now facing drug trafficking charges after $1 million worth of cocaine, marijuana, and ecstasy were found in two separate seizures in the Georgia area. Three of the people were arrested when their vehicle was stopped by police and a large number ecstasy pills were found in the vehicle. The other two people were arrested after police found them in a semitrailer with significant amounts of cocaine and marijuana, as well as $20,000 in cash.
If a law enforcement officer has a reasonable belief that a driver has committed a crime of any sort, they are legally allowed to stop the driver's vehicle. Because of this, many routine traffic stops often lead to drivers being arrested on drug charges.
Georgia has created a Pretrial Diversion Program in an attempt to keep first-time drug offenders out of jail. The program is only offered to first-time offenders whose crime was non-violent, non-aggressive and did not result in injury to a victim. In addition to drug charges, offenders who have committed domestic violence crimes are also eligible if they have no prior record. While both drug and domestic violence charges may be dismissed or Nolle Prosequi upon completion of the program, a DUI charge may not. DUI offenders may apply to complete the diversion program in lieu of jail time, but will still maintain a criminal record upon completion.
Drug charges often stem from an incident where drugs or drug paraphernalia are found on a person or on their property. Authorities, like police officers, are granted permission to search and seize a person's property if illegal activity is suspected. Under the Constitution, the search of a person and their property is governed by the 4th Amendment.
When thinking about the activities or items that could land a person in hot water with the law, drugs or too much to drink top the list in terms of the sheer number of incidences that happen in Gwinnett county in a given year. Of course, other alleged crime accusations do happen, but drug or alcohol-related criminal charges are fairly common. However, this doesn't make them any less impactful, especially if those charges end up in convictions. Recently, several men were picked up in Gwinnett County and are facing drug charges.
Every person has their faults. For some, drug use may be a part of their lifestyle. While there are many reasons one may want to avoid drugs, the law may be one of the biggest reasons. There are laws, both state and federal, that mandate how drug charges like drug possession and intent to distribute are handled.