Have you been arrested for an Atlanta drug crime? Are you worried about what your arrest might mean for your future? Drug charges are some of the most commonly prosecuted crimes in Georgia. For example, nearly 6,000 people were sent to jail for a drug crime in…just in 2021! If you were arrested for an Atlanta drug crime, it is imperative that you take the situation seriously. Even if it’s your first drug arrest, a conviction can alter the course of your life. At the Law Offices of Glenn T. Stern, our Atlanta criminal defense attorney has more than 20 years of experience successfully defending clients facing a wide range of narcotics offenses.Types of Georgia Drug Crimes
Georgia has some of the strictest drug laws in the country. With the exception of a conviction for a small amount of marijuana (under an ounce), any drug conviction is considered a felony offense.
As a general rule, Georgia drug crimes fall into one of the following categories:
- Purchasing or possession of a controlled substance
- Manufacture of a controlled substance
- Delivery or distribution of a controlled substance
- Drug Trafficking
The seriousness of a drug crime depends on several factors. Most importantly, the type of drug, the amount of the drug the government claim you had in your possession, and whether you intended to sell the drug.
Like many other states, Georgia breaks down all controlled substances into five categories, called “schedules.”
Schedule I Drugs: These substances have no approved medical uses and present the highest risk of abuse. Examples of Schedule I drugs include MDMA, heroin, LSD and THC.
Schedule II Drugs: These substances have very limited approved medical uses and present a high risk of abuse. Examples of Schedule II drugs include oxycodone, methamphetamine, methadone, morphine, codeine, cocaine and crack cocaine.
Schedule III Drugs: These substances have valid medical purposes but also present a moderate risk of abuse or addiction. Examples of Schedule III drugs include anabolic steroids, ketamine, suboxone and certain medications containing codeine.
Schedule IV Drugs: These substances are commonly used in medicine and present a low-risk abuse. Examples of Schedule IV drugs include Xanax, valium, and Ambien.
Schedule V Drugs: These substances are commonly used in medicine and present the lowest risk of all controlled substances. Examples of Schedule V drugs include cough syrups that contain a very low dose of codeine.Defenses to Georgia Drug Crimes
Just because you’ve been arrested for a Georgia drug charge doesn’t mean you are guilty. You are presumed innocent unless the government can prove you guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. A skilled Atlanta criminal defense attorney can review your case and discuss all the potential defenses that may result in a not guilty verdict, reduced charges, or the government’s withdrawal of the case. Some of the most common defenses in Atlanta drug cases include:
- Challenging the admissibility of evidence through a motion to suppress;
- Arguing that you did not “possess” the drugs;
- Contesting the government’s evidence that you intended to sell the drugs; or
- Presenting a valid prescription.
Perhaps the most frequently used—and successful—defense involves challenging the arresting officer’s actions leading up to your arrest. When police officers investigate a potential crime, they must respect your constitutional rights. So, for example, if a police officer searches you or your vehicle without probable cause or reasonable suspicion that you committed a crime, any evidence they recovered is not admissible at trial. Often, a successful motion to suppress leaves the government with no evidence left to prove its case against you, meaning they are forced to withdraw the case.Have You Been Charged With an Atlanta Drug Crime?
If you face drug charges, one of the most important decisions you will make regarding your case is which attorney you select to represent you. At the Law Offices of Glenn T. Stern, we’ve been helping our clients beat drug charges for more than two decades. We can help you identify the best possible defense so you can put your arrest behind you and move on with your life. To learn more, and to schedule a free consultation, contact the Law Offices of Glenn T. Stern at (404) 320-1049 today. You can also reach us through our online contact form. We handle cases on behalf of clients in Atlanta and throughout the metro counties, including in Alpharetta, Sandy Springs, Jonesboro, Duluth, Lawrenceville, Marietta, Cumming and Dunwoody.