A drug arrest and charges can bring life-changing consequences. A conviction could mean the loss of certain rights, your driver’s license, jail time, steep fines, probation, and a conviction on your criminal record. There are a variety of drug-related crimes the state can charge you with, and each comes with a range of penalties.

Without the help and guidance of an experienced defense attorney, making even a simple mistake could ruin your chances of a favorable outcome. A Newnan drug lawyer can analyze the details of your arrest and begin planning for your defense right away in a fight for the best possible outcome.

What are the Different Drug Offenses?

The most simple of drug offenses is simple possession. Possession of any illegal drug is a crime and all possession charges are felonies except for possession of less than one ounce of marijuana.

In general, a possession charge carries a penalty of between one year and three years in the state prison system. That sentence can, however, be probated or suspended by a judge. The sentencing range on these charges may also increase if you have previous possession convictions. Attorneys in Newnan also suggest you be aware of special laws regarding possession of drugs such as marijuana edibles.

Possession with Intent to Distribute

A slightly different crime than the sale of drugs is possessing drugs while intending to distribute them. This crime does not require there actually be a sale of any illicit drugs. Instead, the prosecutors must prove two things:

  • That you possessed illegal drugs; and
  • That you were planning on selling or distributing those drugs.

If you are charged with possession with intent regarding a schedule I or schedule II drug, the range of punishment is five years to thirty years. If you are, however, convicted a second for a second time, then the range of punishment bumps up to ten years to forty years. If you are charged with possessing a schedule III, IV, or V drug then the range of punishment is one year to ten years. The range of punishment for these types of drugs does not increase upon multiple convictions.

First Offender Act & Conditional Discharge

If individuals are sentenced under the First Offender Act or Conditional Discharge, they can complete their sentence without having the conviction on their criminal record. It is important to remember that not everyone is eligible for conditional discharge or first offender treatment.  However, if you are given the option after an arrest, you can fulfill the terms of your sentence such as attending drug programs and classes, serving probation, and paying fines. If you successfully meet all of the terms of your sentence with no new arrests during that time, the court will restrict the charge from your criminal record history. There are, however, disadvantages to conditional discharge and first offender. For instance, should you violate probation, you can be resentenced to the maximum sentence provided for by law.

Notably, when reviewing a case for eligibility, the court will consider an individual’s previous criminal record, all of the circumstances surrounding the case, like the schedule of drug they were carrying at the time, the amount of drugs, and the purpose for which they had them. Whether to grant first offender or not is in the discretion of the judge so it is important for you to reach out to a dedicated attorney in Newnan as soon after your drug arrest as possible to determine your options.

Meet With a Skillful Newnan Drug Attorney Today

If you are facing drug charges, you will need experience and a powerful defense on your side through the legal process. A Newnan drug lawyer could analyze the state’s evidence and the case they have against you. Our team can also help you plan a defense strategy using the information gathered through the investigation and work towards getting the best potential outcome in your case at trial.

With your freedoms in jeopardy, you cannot afford to delay getting legal assistance. If the state has accused or arrested you for a serious drug offense, call today to set up an appointment. Your future could depend on it.

J. Ryan Brown Law, LLC

J. Ryan Brown Law, LLC
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