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What are the Penalties for Marijuana Possession?

Unlike some other states, marijuana is illegal in Georgia. Having it in your possession could result in serious criminal charges. Our Atlanta drug crimes defense lawyer shares more about marijuana possession in Georgia and how the circumstances surrounding your case could result in more severe penalties.

Factors That Influence the Penalties for Marijuana Possession in Georgia

Growing, possessing, and distributing marijuana in any form is prohibited under Georgia state law. Under the Controlled Substances Act, marijuana is classified as a Schedule II substance. This puts it alongside other drugs such as cocaine, amphetamines, oxycodone, and Fentanyl.

When it comes to penalties for marijuana possession, there are a variety of factors that influence the type of charges you face and the penalties associated with a conviction. This includes:

  • The amount of marijuana in your possession;
  • Your intent in having it;
  • Where you were caught with it;
  • Whether this is your first offense.

Having large amounts of marijuana in your possession, intending to make sales, using it in a school zone or government buildings, and having a history of past criminal offenses in Atlanta can all increase the severity of the penalties you face.

Penalties for a Marijuana Conviction

Section 16-13-2(b) of the Georgia Code outlines the penalties for possession of marijuana weighing under an ounce when you have no prior criminal offenses. As misdemeanor charges, a conviction could mean fines of up to $1,000 and up to a year in county jail. In some cases, you may be eligible for conditional release or diversionary programs.

Unfortunately, circumstances surrounding your case could increase the severity of your charges, as well as the amount of fines and jail time you face. For example:

  • If you have over an ounce of marijuana in your possession, you could face felony charges, with fines up to $5,000 and up to a ten-year prison sentence.
  • Having over ten pounds of marijuana is a frequent indicator of drug sales, resulting in additional felony charges and a prison sentence of 30 years;
  • Larger quantities could also indicate drug trafficking and intent to deliver, resulting in a mandatory minimum prison sentence of up to 40 years.

What started off as a seemingly minor offense could end up costing you decades of your freedom. A felony marijuana conviction also results in a permanent criminal record that could prevent you from obtaining jobs, a home, or an education in the future.

Request a Consultation With Our Atlanta Drug Crime Defense Lawyers

While marijuana may be legal in some other states, it is against the law in Georgia. Having even small amounts in your possession could result in criminal charges, which carry a potentially lengthy jail sentence. Larger amounts could rob you of your freedom for decades into the future.

To protect yourself against the penalties associated with a marijuana conviction in Georgia, reach out to Ghanayem & Rayasam. For the strong legal defense you need, call or contact our office online today and request a consultation with our Atlanta drug crime lawyers today.