Those who are found to be in possession of controlled substances in Georgia may face a variety of penalties. One of these punishments is a suspended driver's license, which could last for six months to two years. Under state law, there are five different drug schedules with Schedule I substances considered the most dangerous and Schedule V the least dangerous.
It is important to note that substances that are designated as belonging to the Schedule I classification have no accepted medical use. If an individual is discovered to be in possession of such a substance, he or she could face up to 15 years in prison for a first conviction. The punishment increases to up to 30 years for a subsequent conviction. The same is true for possession of a Schedule II substance. Convictions for possession of Schedule III, IV and V drugs carry penalties of a year to a decade in prison.
However, the state does have separate sentencing guidelines for those who are in possession of marijuana. If a person is in possession of less than an ounce of marijuana, he or she could face a fine of up to $1,000 and a year in prison. Possession of more than an ounce of marijuana could result in a prison sentence of at least one year and a fine of up to $5,000.
A drug crime defense attorney may help a person avoid prison time or other penalties associated with a drug possession or similar charge. This may be done by claiming that an individual didn't know what he or she possessed. It may also be possible to assert that the substance in question didn't belong to the defendant. Taking these and other steps may be enough to obtain a plea deal or an acquittal.