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Criminal cases involving drug charges slow to get to court

Anyone who is facing criminal charges just wants their day in court so they can move on with their lives. Unfortunately, Georgia residents facing drug charges are finding that they have to wait much longer than they expected to fight their cases. This is because the state crime lab is behind on testing.

According to a recent report, the Georgia Bureau of Investigation's crime lab does not have enough qualified staff to keep up with the workload it receives. Currently, it takes anywhere from seven months to a year before drug test results are returned from the lab. In truth, this causes more problems for prosecuting attorneys than anyone, but it certainly does not help those accused of drug crimes move forward.

In the 2018 fiscal year, the crime lab received just over 33,000 requests for drug identification tests. The lab was only able to process 79 percent of them. The BGI director of public affairs claims it would take eight months to eliminate the backlog if each of the seven crime lab locations focused solely on the backlogged testing.

What does this mean for individuals currently facing drug charges? Well, it means that prosecuting attorneys may lack evidence in some cases and they have to allow accused individuals to post bond until the lab results come back. It delays trial, but may allow accused individuals to be released from custody and go about their lives. Georgia residents who are facing drug charges can turn to legal counsel who will help them prepare for trial, help them prepare to fight for their futures and their freedom.

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