1st Time Offense of Possession in Georgia
Have you been charged with a 1st time offense of possession in Georgia? The Waltman Firm in Forsyth can offer you a solid defense in your case. Call us today.
Georgia 1st Time offense of possession
DUI investigations and drug-related cases are among the most common offenses Georgia law enforcement agents encounter. However, these cases require highly trained officers with the proper resources and equipment. It is essential for police officers to be able to carry out field sobriety tests accurately, analyze blood and urine samples, and use physical evidence to establish probable cause.
If you face such drug charges yourself, contacting an experienced Georgia drug lawyer is essential. These legal professionals can build a robust defense and guide your case at every stage. Their assistance will minimize the potential Georgia drug penalties.
Drug Possession under Georgia’s Drug Laws
In the State of Georgia, the specific definitions of drug possession play a pivotal role in establishing guilt concerning possession charges.
Georgia law recognizes two forms of possession: “actual” and “constructive.” This implies that you can be charged and convicted of possession even if the drugs are not physically on your person or in your pocket.
The critical factor is whether you exercise control over the drugs regardless of their physical location. Whether in your glove compartment or coffee table. This control determines your legal possession of the drugs. You can also face possession charges if a law enforcement officer witnesses you discarding or attempting to conceal a package later confirmed to contain drugs.
What Is the First Offenders Act in Georgia?
Georgia First Offenders Act offers first-time drug offenders an opportunity to avoid a conviction on their record; to achieve this, the Georgia first-offender program was created.
The First Offender Program is designed to help one avoid a criminal record. To qualify for enrolment in the first offender program, there are specific criteria to meet, and the charges should not involve a serious sexual offense, DUI, or violent felony charges. The program necessitates judicial approval and cooperation with the prosecutor.
Participants of the program experience reduced fines and probation, though some jail time might still be necessary. Conditional discharge is also an option for certain possession cases, allowing charges to be dismissed upon completing specified requirements. This is a one-time choice demanding strict program adherence.
Sometimes, first-time offenders can evade incarceration through careful legal consideration and compliance with state requirements.
Types of Possession Charges
Georgia law recognizes two primary types of drug possession. These include:
- Actual Possession
This type of drug possession occurs when the drugs are found in your person, such as in your pocket or bag. You can be charged with actual possession if you have physical control over the drugs.
- Constructive Possession
This type of drug possession refers to cases where the drugs are not on your person, but you have control over the location where the drugs are found. For instance, under Georgia marijuana laws, you can be charged with constructive possession if law enforcement discovers the substance in your car, home, or another property you control. If an officer sees you trying to hide or dispose of drugs, that can also be considered constructive possession.
What Is Considered a 1st-Time Offense of Possession in Georgia?
A 1st-time possession offense in Georgia typically pertains to individuals without prior drug-related convictions in the state. However, the penalties for this offense can vary based on factors such as type of drug, quantity, and specific circumstances. Potential consequences include fines, probation, mandatory drug treatment, and even incarceration.
If you are facing a first-time drug possession charge in Georgia, seeking counsel from a skilled criminal defense attorney is crucial. They will provide tailored guidance and explore avenues to mitigate consequences, which may include diversion programs and conditional discharges.
Penalties for a 1st-Time Offense of Possession in Georgia
Georgia drug possession penalties for a Schedule I drug result in a felony conviction, with penalties based on the substance’s weight. Penalties range from one to three years for less than one gram of a solid or one milliliter of liquid; it’s one to eight years for one to four grams and one to fifteen years for four to twenty-eight grams. A third or subsequent conviction could lead to a prison term twice the original sentence.
Additionally, all drug possession cases lead to a mandatory driver’s license suspension. The driver’s license suspension lasts at least six months for a first-time drug offense, one year for a second, and two years for a third or subsequent drug possession conviction.
How a Criminal Defense Attorney Can Help You
A proficient Georgia drug attorney possesses in-depth knowledge of various categories of illicit and controlled substances, and law enforcement strategies for drug-related charges. This understanding allows them to thoroughly assess the case and engage in well-informed negotiations with the prosecutors.
Attorneys from The Waltman Firm in Forsyth are committed to ensuring that all aspects of the case are meticulously examined. We aim to present the strongest possible defense and minimize the potential consequences of drug possession charges in Georgia. Contact us if you seek a possible favorable legal
Frequently Asked Questions
Do I need an attorney for a first offense?
Yes, if you are caught in a 1st time offense drug-related charge of possession in Georgia, seek immediate assistance from a skilled criminal defense attorney. Attempting to navigate these charges independently can result in significant personal consequences. A seasoned criminal lawyer possesses the knowledge and experience to guide you through the intricate criminal justice system. They also brief you on what to expect and can help secure a possible favorable outcome for your case.
Do First-Time Drug Offenders Go to Jail in Georgia?
Most illicit substances can lead to at least one to two years of imprisonment, making it challenging for defendants to avoid incarceration unless the quantity is minimal. First-time offenders can also expect a six-month suspension of their driver’s licenses.
How Do You Beat a Possession Charge in Georgia?
Several avenues exist for the potential dismissal of drug possession charges. These include deferred adjudication under the First Offender Act, conditional discharge for specific drug offenses only, participation in drug court programs such as the Georgia First Offender program, seeking dismissal via a motion on constitutional grounds, pursuing prosecutorial dismissal with compelling reasons, and finally, going to trial with the chance of charges being dropped upon a not guilty verdict.