Posted by Jim Yeargan in on May 28, 2014
Possession of Marijuana In Georgia
In Georgia, possession of marijuana less than an ounce is a misdemeanor, meaning it is punishable by up to 12 months in jail, and a $1,000 fine. However, if you are convicted of possesison of marijuana in Georgia you will most likely receive community service, risk reduction school, a drug and alcohol evaluation, and other punishments in addition to your fine.
Being arrested for possession of marijuana in Georgia means this charge is on your criminal history. This charge can easily prevent you from future job opportunities, academic scholarships including the Hope Scholarship, and military service. Many professional licenses may also be suspended if you are convicted of possession of marijuana in Georgia.
Even though this charge is on your criminal history it may be possible to remove it, or expunge/restrict your record so potential employers and others cannot see it. The easiest way for this to happen is by participating in a court diversion program. Upon successful completion of the diversion program the charges against you will be dismissed, and the charge will be removed from your criminal history. Even though potential employers, and private individuals, will not be able to see the charge on your criminal history the government, police, prosecutors, and the courts will always be able to see the charge. Even though you may have had your record expunged/restricted this does not mean the information will not be available, or displayed, by private companies such as Google, Mugshots.com, and other private entities.
If you do not qualify for the diversion program you may have other options available which will give you similar results as far as dismissing the charges against you, and removing the charge from your criminal history. These other options are conditional discharge, and First Offender. You should speak with an attorney before deciding to utilize any of these options.
If you were not arrested for possession of marijuana in Georgia, but you were only given a citation, then the charge is not on your criminal history. However, you need to proceed carefully because if you are convicted, or you plead Nolo/No Contest, to the charge it will go on your criminal history.
Finally, it should be noted that possession of marijuana in Georgia less than an ounce will no longer suspend your Georgia Driver’s License.