By: Mary Agramonte

            Georgia law
has made it a felony for someone to give an inmate certain illicit items. These
include guns, weapons, alcohol, drugs, tobacco and cellphones. If any of these
items are given to an inmate without the warden’s permission, both the inmate
and the person who gave it to the inmate, can be charged with a felony offense.
This law is codified at O.C.G.A. § 42-5-18.

It is against the law
for Inmates to possess certain items while in jail.

            If the
inmate possesses a gun, weapon, alcohol, drugs, or tobacco, he or she can be
convicted and imprisoned for 1 to 5 years (which can run consecutive to
whatever sentence they are currently serving). Interestingly, if the person in
jail is being held for a misdemeanor
arrest or conviction, and is caught with a cell
phone
in violation of Georgia law, Georgia law can be more lenient as this offense
is actually a misdemeanor. On the other hand, if the person is being held for a
felony and is caught with a cell phone, it will be charged as a felony.

The person on the
outside bringing the items can be punished more severely in Georgia.

            Another
caveat is that Georgia law is that is treats more harshly the person bringing
the items, than it does the inmate possessing them. If you are the one who
brings the prohibited items in, or even attempts to do so, it is a mandatory
minimum of two years to serve in prison (and all the way up to 10 years). The
mandatory two years cannot be served on probation meaning it is a mandatory
prison sentence. This includes weapons, drugs, and alcohol will all result in a
mandatory two years in prison if the person is convicted of that crime. If it
is only cigarettes or tobacco, then the sentence is slightly lighter in Georgia
in that is a mandatory one to five years in that situation if the person is
convicted at trial or plea.

What about drones?

            As technology
develops more in the outside world, people are becoming creative in ways to
bring prohibited items into jails and prisons. In this regard, the Georgia
legislature has enacted laws to prevent the use of drones and other unmanned
aircraft systems in either taking photos of jails and prisons, or using the unmanned
aircraft to bring the banned items into the prison walls.  In this situation, it is a 1 to 5 year
sentence to use the drone to take photos, and a 1 to 10 year offense to
actually attempt to bring items into jail or prison. Both of these are
considered felony offenses.

            Whether you
or a loved one has been caught either possession the items while in prison, or
bringing the items into the prison, there is hope. Experienced criminal defense
attorneys can put together a defense to mitigate and protect your future. Call
W. Scott Smith today for a FREE CONSULTATION at 404-581-0999.