There are several ways the State can charge you with marijuana offenses in Georgia:
- Possession of Less Than an Ounce– If you are arrested with less than an ounce of marijuana, you will be charged with a misdemeanor. The penalty includes up to a $1,000 fine and up to 12 months in jail.
- Possession of More Than an Ounce– If you are arrested with more than an ounce of marijuana, you will be charged with a felony. The penalty is 1-10 years and a fine.
- Possession With Intent to Distribute– If you are arrested with marijuana and the State can prove that you intended to distribute the marijuana, they can charge you with possession with intent to distribute. The intent part of the charge requires proof by the State, but they can prove you intended to distribute the marijuana by bringing in witnesses to testify or with other evidence such as scales or packaging material. If you are found guilty of possession with intent to distribute, the first offense carries a possible prison sentence of 1-10 years. A second or subsequent offense carries a mandatory 10 years in prison and up to 40 years.
- Trafficking Marijuana– If you are arrested with more than 10 pounds of marijuana, you will be charged with trafficking marijuana. The State only has to prove that you knowingly possessed the marijuana, not that you knew the weight of the marijuana. If the weight of the drug is 10-2,000 pounds, the penalty is 5 years in prison and a $100,000 fine. If the weight of the drug is 2,000-10,000 pounds, the penalty is 7 years in prison and a $250,000 fine. If the weight is more than 10,000 pounds, the penalty is 15 years in prison and a $1 million fine.
If you are charged with a marijuana offense, it is important to hire an experienced attorney to help defend you. First, it is important that the search that resulted in the drugs being found did not violate your constitutional rights. Next, the lawyers at W. Scott Smith will explore your possible defenses, such as lack of intent or lack of knowledge. The lawyers at W. Scott Smith have years of experience defending marijuana offenses. If you are charged in Fulton, Gwinnett, Cobb, Clayton, Dekalb, Cherokee, Fayette, or Barrow County, call our office at 404-581-0999 for a free consultation.