Being taken into custody for possessing any type of illegal drug can understandably be unsettling, even embarrassing. Naturally, you may wonder who will find out about your arrest and if it will affect your reputation and your freedom.
Fortunately, if you face a drug possession charge, you are presumed innocent until and unless the prosecution can prove your guilt in a court of law. Here is a look at what you can expect if authorities accuse you of drug possession in Georgia:
What happens if police arrest you for possessing drugs?
Georgia laws, which regulate both prescription drug and illegal drug possession, treat illegal drug possession very seriously. As a result, even if you face charges for possessing just a tiny amount of a drug that is illegal, you could still potentially face severe penalties. Facing a conviction for drug possession also means you could ultimately lose your license to drive in the state.
What types of severe penalties could you face for possessing drugs?
The least-severe penalty you could face for possessing drugs is a sentence of one to five years behind prison bars if you possessed drugs classified as Schedule III, Schedule IV or Schedule V. These drugs have a relatively low chance of being abused.
Meanwhile, possessing drugs that qualify as Schedule I or Schedule II could lead to a sentence of two to 15 years behind bars. Schedule I and II drugs both have a high abuse potential. However, Schedule I drugs have no approved medical use, whereas Schedule II drugs can be used for restricted medical purposes.
Your rights if you face drug possession charges
If police have arrested you for allegedly possessing drugs, you have the right to go to trial to vigorously fight your charge. The prosecution must be able to prove your charge beyond a reasonable doubt before you can face a conviction. This standard exists with the goal of making sure that innocent people do not end up facing criminal convictions for crimes they did not commit. Rather than going to trial, however, you may have the option to negotiate a plea deal with the prosecution.
A plea deal may be beneficial in your situation if the evidence that the prosecution plans to present at trial to support your charge appears to be strong. This type of deal might lead to a lighter charge and thus a lighter sentence than what you would receive following a guilty verdict at trial. Whether you go to trial or choose to plea bargain with the prosecution, an experienced attorney can aggressively pursue the best outcome for you in light of the circumstances surrounding your case.