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While there are a handful of states known for having relatively harsh drug laws on their books, the state of Georgia often stands apart from even this group thanks its exceptionally stringent stance toward narcotics. Indeed, those charged with drug crimes ranging from possession to distribution will face the very real possibility of lengthy prison sentences.

By way of example, consider the punishment called for under state law for those convicted of selling illegal narcotics, a crime that is often committed out of economic desperation or simple lapses in judgment.

Any such discussion of Georgia's drug laws, however, must be prefaced by an explanation of how the state classifies illegal narcotics or "controlled substances."

In general, controlled substances are divided into one of five schedules based on accepted medical uses and potential for abuse. Those drug crimes involving controlled substances falling into schedule I or II typically call for more severe penalties.

  • Schedule I: No accepted medical purpose and high potential for abuse (heroin, LSD)
  • Schedule II: Accepted medical purposes with serious restrictions and high potential for abuse (fentanyl, cocaine)
  • Schedule III: Accepted medical uses and lower potential for abuse than schedule I or II drugs (benzphetamine)
  • Schedule IV: Accepted medical uses and lower potential for abuse than schedule III drugs (phenobarbital)
  • Schedule V: Accepted medical uses and lower potential for abuse than schedule IV drugs (preparations containing limited amounts of codeine)

When it comes to the sale of either schedule I or II controlled substances, state law dictates that it is a felony punishable by anywhere from five to 30 years in state prison, with the penalties for subsequent convictions ranging from ten to 40 years in prison, or even life.

As for the sale of schedule III, IV or V controlled substances, state law dictates that it is a felony punishable by one to ten years in prison, with the penalties for subsequent convictions dependent upon whether the person has committed a total of less than four felonies, or four or more felonies.

As is clear by the foregoing discussion, those who have been charged with drug sales here in the Peach State should seriously consider speaking with an experienced legal professional as soon as possible.

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