Possession of Marijuana

Possession of Marijuana in Georgia can be either classified as a felony or misdemeanor offense, based on several factors. Normally, Possession of Marijuana carries a potential sentence of one to ten years in prison. However, if the amount of marijuana weighs less than one ounce and is for personal use, then possession is a misdemeanor offense that carries a maximum twelve month sentence.

We have seen arrests for Possession of Marijuana increase in recent years. Law enforcement officers have become more aggressive in seeking out and arresting people for this offense, even though the citizens of Georgia have clearly indicated that they would prefer law enforcement to focus on violent crime. Despite the victimless nature of this "crime", prosecutors have shown that they will prosecute this offense, with potentially adverse consequences to you.

A great deal of our practice focuses on Motions to Suppress in Possession of Marijuana cases. A common tactic used by law enforcement is to unlawfully search people on vague and unsupported "hunches". If the officer does not find anything, the person is not charged with a crime, and the public is none the wiser. If the officer gets lucky and does find illegal substances, they will often justify their searches based on evidence that is difficult to corroborate such as "nervous" behavior and the "odor of marijuana". THIS IS A TACTIC USED BY THE POLICE TO INTENTIONALLY VIOLATE YOUR RIGHTS. In order to adequately defend yourself against such an unlawful arrest, you need an attorney experienced in the various defenses available in drug crimes. We have handled THOUSANDS of drug cases in our legal career and are confident that we can fully explore all of the avenues available to you in defending your Possession of Marijuana case.

One of the most important aspects of defending a Possession of Marijuana case is to make sure that, whatever the outcome, it will not permanently affect your criminal history. In Georgia, a conviction for misdemeanor Possession of Marijuana can remain on your criminal history for LIFE if not properly handled. Even though low level offenses Possession of Marijuana charges typically do not result in jail time for first time offenders, it would be a mistake to try and handle this case on your own given the long term consequences of this offense on your criminal history.

Once you have been convicted of possession of marijuana, you cannot expunge the arrest for this conviction under O.C.G.A. § 35-3-37.

At Ghanayem & Rayasam LLC we understand that every criminal case is unique. Our goal is to provide you with the best possible options for resolving your criminal matter. Please contact my firm at (770) 396-7286 to speak with us regarding your case and to see how we can help you.

Possession of Marijuana Fact Sheet:

Possession of Marijuana (Felony)

  • A potential sentence of 1 to 10 years in prison
  • A potential fine of $100,000 plus court surcharges
  • Mandatory driver's license suspension
  • Forfeiture of any assets alleged to have been involved in the unlawful conduct
  • Other serious consequences, including a felony criminal conviction that cannot be expunged

Possession of Marijuana (Misdemeanor)

  • A potential sentence of up to 12 months years in prison
  • A potential fine of $1,000 plus court surcharges
  • Mandatory driver's license suspension
  • Other serious consequences, including a criminal conviction that cannot be expunged