Every state has its own laws and penalties regarding the possession of illegal substances. Georgia is no exception, and has outlined the possible consequences for those facing drug charges. Several illegal substances are given their own separate heading under state law.
The charges and penalties for cocaine possession are detailed according to the amount involved and the number of alleged offenses. Possession of cocaine is weighted more heavily than possession of a less potent drug, and as a result, even a negligible amount in one’s possession can result in a felony charge. If one is found with an ounce or greater, than the charge is increased from possession to suspected selling of the substance, which potentially carries a harsher sentence and additional penalties.
A first-time cocaine conviction could result in a person serving 15 years in prison for possession or five to 30 years for selling it. Even a first offense will still result in a minimum sentence of 12 months to 24 months. If one is convicted a second time or there are additional serious components, such as selling cocaine in the presence of a minor, then the punishments increase significantly. In addition, the quantity of the drug has a direct correlation to the penalty imposed by the courts.
Though Georgia laws concerning the possession of cocaine are harsh, they do provide for a program that may allow a person facing a first time conviction the opportunity to seek counseling and addiction treatment in lieu of a long sentence. This program, referred to as accountability court, is offered in several counties in the state. There are other possible consequences that may result from drug charges, including the suspension of driving privileges and loss of property, which makes it imperative to seek the advice of an experienced criminal defense attorney in order to prepare and present a focused defense against these serious allegations.
Source: FindLaw, “Georgia Cocaine Laws“, Accessed on Feb. 8, 2017