Repercussions for Cocaine Possession
A person convicted of a cocaine offense in Georgia may face various penalties. There are the immediate criminal penalties that may be enforced, as well as the lasting effects that a criminal conviction of this kind may have on one's reputation, career and personal life. A criminal conviction may affect employment and may also have a negative impact on housing and financial opportunities. The type of criminal charge that is placed upon a drug crime is dependent on the type of drug and the type of crime that has been committed. In the case of cocaine, since it is a Schedule II substance, possession is considered a felony, and is punished accordingly.
- First possession offense: 2-15 years in prison, 6 month license suspension, and possible fines
- Second possession offense: 5-30 years in prison, 1 year license suspension, and possible fines
- Third possession offense: 5-30 years in prison, 2 year license suspension, and possible fines
Possession charges are sometimes hard to determine, as the drug doesn't have to be in physical possession at the time to be found guilty of these charges. If an individual is in control of cocaine—even if it's lying around in their house or in their vehicle—it may result in a possession charge. If it is unlawfully seized, however, this evidence cannot be used against the individual. With the help of an Atlanta criminal attorney, you can take the necessary investigative steps to determine whether or not your criminal allegations resulted from illegal police conduct.
Selling, manufacturing, delivering, and/or knowingly possessing more than 28 grams of, cocaine can be handled as a drug trafficking crime. Drug trafficking carries much more severe penalties than a possession charge would, as it involves "intent to sell." If carrying more than 28, but less than 200, grams of cocaine, you could face a minimum of 10 years imprisonment. If carrying at least 200, but less than 400, grams of cocaine, you could face a minimum sentence of 15 years.
Defending against either trafficking and/or possession charges is sometimes difficult, but a knowledgeable attorney can try to determine whether or not the search and seizure of the possessed drugs was done within the boundaries of the law. If drugs were found in an individual's vehicle, the law enforcement officer would have had to have probable cause to stop the vehicle, as well as cause to implement a search. If the law enforcement officer acted unlawfully at any time, the evidence could not be used against the defendant.