An arrest for a drug charge is a frightening experience, and you may feel unsure about what you should do first to defend yourself against the state. It is vital to keep in mind that a drug arrest is not a guilty verdict and you are innocent until proven otherwise. In drug cases particularly, there are ways to protect your record and your freedom. If the state recently charged you or someone you love with a misdemeanor or felony drug charges, do not waste any time before finding legal representation to defend your rights and freedom.
A criminal defense attorney could review the search of your person or property, the arrest, and the state’s argument to build a case on your behalf. A Palmetto drug lawyer could also negotiate with the prosecution and fight the charges to obtain the most favorable outcome possible.
Simple drug possession may not seem like a serious offense if it is a first-time charge. However, it remains on a criminal record if convicted, and many factors could change the severity of the charges an individual faces. Some of the determining factors include the type of substance and quantity a person is in possession of.
If an individual has a large amount of a substance, they could face charges like drug trafficking, which carries much steeper penalties. For instance, much of the country continues to legalize marijuana for recreational use, but Georgia still harshly punishes those caught with drugs.
The Official Code of Georgia Annotated § 16-13-30 states that it is a felony conviction to possess marijuana with the intent to distribute it to others. If an officer of the law stops, searches, and finds evidence that suggests an intention to distribute drugs (no matter how small the amount), they will charge likely charge the individual. Evidence of intent could include large amounts of the controlled substance, money, scales, text messages, phone calls, social media evidence, and more. A person convicted of possessing marijuana with the intent to distribute faces up to 10 years in prison.
Further, the statute states that trafficking marijuana is a felony. If a law enforcement officer finds more than ten pounds of marijuana on an individual, they might charge them with a trafficking offense. If convicted of trafficking marijuana in criminal court a person faces 15 to 30 years in prison. A skillful attorney in Palmetto could work with the state to negotiate lesser drug charges or diversion programs on the individual’s behalf and help ensure their rights are protected.
In some instances, first-time drug offenders could be eligible for state drug diversion programs or pretrial diversion programs. Under these circumstances, the state offers services to individuals they believe the programs could benefit. Completing the program would give the offender a chance to keep their criminal record clear of misdemeanor or felony convictions.
A seasoned lawyer in Palmetto is familiar with these drug programs and how they work. A legal representative could work with the state to confirm eligibility and assist you in applying to protect your future.
If you are facing a drug conviction of any sort, it is essential that you contact an experienced Palmetto drug lawyer right away for help protecting your civil liberties. Even a simple possession charge can remain on your record, so it is crucial to have a representative who is standing on your side. Call a dedicated member of the firm to begin strategizing your defense today.
J. Ryan Brown Law, LLC