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Crossing the guard line in Georgia: What you need to know

Georgia has a rather unique law on its books that imposes criminal penalties for people who "cross the guard line" in a correctional facility with certain kinds of contraband on their person. Any attempt to sneak illicit items like weapons or drugs into a jail can be charged as a felony and land you behind bars for up to four years.

Why does this matter? After all, you don't have any intention of trying to sneak something illegal into a jail anytime soon, right?

Well, that's not the only time the law can be used. Imagine this: You stop at a local bar after work to have some drinks with your friends. You take it easy so that you're not too impaired to drive -- but you end up pulled over anyhow. You flunk a Breathalyzer test and wind up arrested.

That's bad, naturally, but it can quickly get worse. The officer searches you before putting you in the squad car but misses the fact that you have a marijuana joint in your jacket pocket. You're panicked, and you definitely don't want any further problems, so you say nothing.

Then, once you're taken to the jail for booking, your clothes are taken and searched again. The joint is found, and now you're charged with crossing the guard line. Suddenly, your misdemeanor DUI and low-level marijuana possession charge turns into a felony offense.

Trying to handle your criminal case on your own is always a big mistake. If you're facing criminal charges related to crossing the guard line or another offense, get help. An experienced attorney here in Cumming can protect your rights.

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