All controlled substances are divided into schedules depending on the perceived danger and potential for addiction associated with the drug. Accordingly, the penalties for drug possession will vary depending on the type and amount of drug that is found in one's possession by law enforcement. In some cases, it is even illegal to possess the chemicals/substances that are used to manufacture drugs. In order to escape the legal penalties associated with possession of an illegal substance, you will need an Atlanta criminal defense attorney on your side.
To be charged with possession, however, an individual does not even have to be in direct physical possession of a drug either. If it is found in a vehicle or in within their home, a person may still be charged with a crime, but the search and seizure by law enforcement that uncovered the drugs must have been done lawfully. If an individual did not give consent to a law enforcement officer to search their car and there was no probable cause to do so, if drugs are found, it cannot be used against them.
Penalties for Possession of Illegal Substances
Possession of a Schedule III, IV or V substance such as anabolic steroids or certain stimulants or depressants may be charged as a felony offense punishable by 1 to 5 years in prison. Possession of a Schedule I or II substance such as heroin, LSD, ecstasy, cocaine, molly or amphetamine will be charged as a felony and may be punishable by 2 to 15 years in state prison.
Second-time offenses will result in enhanced penalties, and if a defendant is accused of drug possession with the intent to sell or distribute, he or she will face more serious charges or penalties as well. Marijuana cultivation can qualify under possession charges, as well, and depending on the ultimate weight/amount of cannabis found, a person can face serious jail time and heavy fines. The penalties for marijuana cultivation include:
- 10 lbs. or less: 1-10 years imprisonment
- 10-2,000 lbs.: 5-30 years imprisonment & $100,000 maximum fine
- 2,000-10,000 lbs.: 7-30 years imprisonment & $250,000 maximum fine
- More than 10,000 lbs.: 15-30 years imprisonment & $1,000,000 maximum fine
- Within 1,000 feet of a school, park, or drug free zone: 20-40 years imprisonment & $40,000 maximum fine
If you have been charged with a drug possession charge, it is important to talk to an attorney immediately and review the details of your arrest. If you believe that a law enforcement officer unlawfully searched your property and/or vehicle without probable cause or consent, you may be able to defend yourself against the penalties of a conviction.
Why hire a defense lawyer?
Whether your case is involving cocaine, molly marijuana, LSD, Ecstasy, heroin, or an illegal prescription medication; you are running the risk of detrimental and frightening consequences. Depending on the amount and type of drug, the severity of the punishment you are facing will vary; however, there are no cases where it is seen as a minor issue. Attorney Sailers understands the severity of the situation you are in, and if you choose to secure his legal assistance, you can breathe easier knowing that he will do everything that he can to protect your rights. Contact an Atlanta drug crime lawyer from the firm today to receive your initial case evaluation and to learn more about your possible options.