Drug Trafficking O.C.G.A. 16-13-31
It is Time to Defend Yourself in a Drug Trafficking Charge with the Assistance of A Skilled and Aggressive Yeargan & Kert, LLC Attorney
You are accused of trafficking drugs. Maybe your loved one is accused of trafficking drugs. You are sure what this charge means or why you were charged. This confusion can happen is if your loved one had drugs on them. They expected to be charged with a felony or misdemeanor drug possession. Instead, they are charged with drug trafficking. Now you are confused, just like your loved one, and you are wondering what to do and what the criminal charge means.
Drug possession is different. It has different penalties and elements. Elements are the things that need to be proven in court for the state to win the case and the defendant to go to prison or jail.
If you allegedly have a lot of drugs in your possession at the time of your arrest, you could be accused of trafficking drugs. This is different than simple drug possession involving drugs for personal use. The criminal sentence is tough. You face anywhere from one to 15 years in prison.
However, being accused of drug trafficking is a more serious crime. In fact, the state usually does not let you out on bond if you are arrest and/or charged with drug trafficking in Atlanta Georgia. It is defined under Georgia statute O.C.G.A. 16-13-31.
What is Drug Trafficking in Atlanta Georgia?
Drug trafficking refers to the distribution, sale, manufacture or possession of a large amount of drugs. Whether you are charged with drug trafficking is determined by the amount of the controlled substance you have. That is why a simple possession charge increases to a drug trafficking charge.
For instance, if you have more than 28 grams of cocaine in your possession, you could be charged with drug trafficking. The type of drug you are accused of having will also determine the harshness of your drug trafficking charge.
Drug Trafficking in Atlanta Georgia Includes Giving the Drug Away
A drug trafficking charge can include possessing the drug with the intent to sell or distribute. It also includes giving the drug away from either something of value or for no money at all. Therefore, you cannot contend that you were not trafficking drugs because you were giving the drugs away.
Drug Trafficking in Atlanta Georgia Depends on the Drug Schedules Used
You may think of a drug charge as a federal crime. It can be a federal crime if you transport drugs across state lines. Drug trafficking is generally prosecuted on the local and state level. Atlanta Georgia does, however, use the federal government’s drug schedule to determine the harshness of drugs and drug trafficking.
The five drug schedules separate the legal and illegal controlled substance by their addictiveness and use. For instance, the most addictive drugs are in the top categories commonly referred to as schedule I and II. The least addictive drugs are placed in the lower categories. These drugs have the least amount of time for possessing or trafficking them. The schedule of drugs are:
- Schedule I: Drugs have a high potential for abuse. There is no accepted medical use. Drugs in this schedule include heroin, LSD, THC and MDMA.
- Schedule II: These drugs are highly addictive too. You could develop a physical or psychological dependence. Some of the drugs in this category have an accepted medical use. They are used under severe medical restriction. The drugs included in this schedule include cocaine, morphine, and methadone.
- Schedule III: the control substance has a lower chance of being abused. Anabolic steroids are drugs included in this schedule.
- Schedule IV: Again, the drugs in this category has drugs that have a low tendency of being abused. However, you could still become physically or psychologically addicted to these drugs. Controlled substances in this classification are valium and Xanax.
- Schedule V: Drugs have the lowest potential for abuse. They are the drugs with the lowest chance of addictiveness.
Defenses You can Use to Fight a Drug Trafficking Charge
You may not think you have any legal options when it comes to defending yourself in a drug trafficking case, but you do. A defense strategy is a defense used to either challenge the prosecutor’s case or prove why you are innocent. Now not all defenses claim innocence. This is why you need to consult with an experienced drug trafficking attorney at Yeargan & Kert, LLC. You may have a justification for having a large amount of drugs in your possession.
Here are some common drug trafficking defenses you can use:
- Police Misconduct: to arrest you, police have to show probable cause. They must believe you have committed some crime. The belief is more than a hunch. It is credible evidence that gave them a reason to arrest you. If they did not have probable cause, you can challenge evidence obtained during the arrest.
- Failure to read Miranda Rights: Any time you are being interrogated by police, they are supposed to read your Miranda Rights. If this does not happen, it is a violation of your rights. This is used to get evidence thrown out of your case. This defense weakens the state’s case against you.
- Incorrect chemical composition or weight: This defense involves the state improperly calculating the weight of the drugs you allegedly possessed. This means that they can charge you with drug trafficking because it did not weight your alleged drug properly. This can get your case dismissed or reduced.
- Lack of evidence: Lack of evidence is a defense where you attack the prosecutor’s case. The defense claims the state does not have enough evidence to take the case to trial. Typically, your attorney will submit a motion to dismiss to the court to end the case.
Drug Trafficking is a Felony Charge in Atlanta Georgia
A drug trafficking conviction involves serious time in prison. The amount of prison time in prison ranges from a mandatory minimum of five to 25 years. The exact time depends on the drugs trafficked.
For instance, four or more grams of morphine is a minimum sentence of five years in prison. Possessing 400 grams of methamphetamine is a mandatory minimum of 15 years in prison.
If a drug trafficking is reduced to a drug possession conviction, you will not face a mandatory minimum and you will face less time. The amount of time in prison depends on the drug schedule. For instance, any possession of a schedule I or narcotic schedule II drugs is punishable by two to 15 years in prison. Any additional charge has a punishment of five to 30 years in prison.
Possession of any non-narcotic drug in schedule II is punishable by two to 15 years in prison. The penalty also increases for any subsequent convictions. You face five to 30 years in prison.
If you have a drug in the schedule III, IV or V, then your punishment may include one to five years in prison. Any subsequent conviction is punishable by one to 10 years in prison.
Let Yeargan & Kert, LLC Fight Your Atlanta Georgia Drug Trafficking Charge
You or your loved one may be preparing for the worst in this drug trafficking case, but thinking the best. You have to do something else. Start fighting to resolve this charge in your favor. Understand more information about drug trafficking.
Also, get in touch with a defense lawyer immediately. Hiring an attorney gets the legal process rolling. You have someone to protect you or your loved one’s legal interests. You have legal counsel negotiating with the state to reduce or drop your drug trafficking charge. You also someone preparing for trial by building a solid defense.
Contact Yeargan & Kert, LLC immediately about your drug trafficking charge. Do not waste time. A drug charge is too serious to take a wait and see approach. A prosecutor will not drop the case because they think you are a good kid. They want to win their case.