I had a misdemeanor amount of weed (less than one ounce) but I am being charged with a felony, what gives?
Pursuant to O.C.G.A. §16-13-30(j)(1), “it is unlawful for any person to manufacture, deliver, distribute, dispense, administer, sell, or possess with intent to distribute marijuana.” Even though the police and prosecutor may not be able to prove an actual sale occurred, they will try to discover and introduce circumstantial evidence that the person intended to distribute marijuana.
Circumstantial evidence of intent to distribute can include: scales, empty Ziploc bags, drug paraphernalia, large amounts of cash in different denominations, firearms, division of drugs into individual packages, cell phone data, or a prior conviction of possession with intent to distribute.
O.C.G.A. §16-13-30(j)(2) states that anyone violating O.C.G.A. §16-13-30(j)(1) “shall be guilty of a felony and, upon conviction thereof, shall be punished by imprisonment for not less than one year nor more than ten years.” This charge is eligible for probation, but a felony conviction can create issues in obtaining employment, housing, and schooling.
If no defenses are available, certain sentencing options such as conditional discharge or first offender treatment may be available which ultimately result in the case getting dismissed.
If you or someone you know has been charged with a crime, please contact our office today at 404-581-0999 for a free consultation.