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When is a Drug Crime in Georgia a Federal Offense?

Drug offenses are a serious matter in Georgia. Laws are strict when it comes to prohibiting drug-related activities and facing any type of criminal drug charges could result in harsh penalties, which include a lengthy prison sentence. Our Atlanta criminal defense attorneys explain how in some cases, drug crimes in Atlanta could rise to the level of being a federal offense.

Drug Crimes in Atlanta That Could Be Charged as Federal Offenses

Possessing, purchasing, manufacturing, or distributing any type of controlled substance is considered a crime under Section 16-13-30 of the Georgia Code. You could end up with misdemeanor or felony drug charges in Atlanta depending on the activity you engaged in and the type of drugs involved.

Felony drug offenses usually involve Schedule I or II drugs, including marijuana, cocaine, methamphetamine, heroin, hallucinogens, and ecstasy, as well as certain legal drugs, such as hydrocodone or fentanyl, obtained without a prescription. Unfortunately, felony drug crimes could also be charged as a federal offense. This can happen in any of the following situations:

  • When you are involved in large-scale manufacturing or distribution;
  • When you engage in drug crimes that cross state lines or international borders;
  • When a drug crime is committed on federal property, such as national parks, tribal lands, federal buildings, or military bases;
  • When a drug offense is linked to racketeering or organized crime.

Federal Penalties for Drug Crimes in Atlanta

The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) may become involved in state criminal investigations when a case involves illegal activities that violate federal law, are linked to organized crime, occur in certain types of places, or rise to a specific level. According to FBI statistics, close to 60,000 people are arrested on federal charges in Georgia each year. The majority involved drug offenses.

When facing drug charges in Atlanta, particularly those that could result in federal charges, it is important to get professional legal representation right away. Penalties for federal drug charges vary based on the activity and the type and amount of drugs involved. Under Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) guidelines, these include:

  • Fines ranging from $500,000 to $5 million;
  • Federal prison sentence ranging from five to 40 or more years;
  • Seizure of all property and assets in any way connected with the crime;
  • A criminal record that impacts your rights regarding family court matters while preventing you from obtaining jobs, housing, or an education.

Contact Our Atlanta Criminal Defense Attorneys Today

If you are facing any type of drug charges in Atlanta, particularly those that could result in federal penalties, do not delay. Get the experienced, professional legal representation you need at Ghanayem & Rayasam.

Our Atlanta criminal defense attorneys have the legal expertise needed to protect your rights in these cases. We conduct our own investigations, gather evidence in your favor, and act as a strong ally on your side in state and federal court proceedings. To request a consultation, call or contact our Atlanta criminal defense attorneys online today.