Accused of Possession of Cocaine in Georgia?
Georgia punishes those convicted of possessing drugs according to a Schedule. This schedule is not an appointment, but categorizes dangerous drugs. The more dangerous the more prison time because they are highly addictive. The state separates drugs into five schedules. The most dangerous drugs are listed in Schedule I and include LSD, ecstasy and heroin. Drugs in Schedule II are just as serious and include Cocaine, oxycodone and methadone. Possession of cocaine in Georgia is a felony which, if convicted, carries mandatory jail time, as well as the loss of voting rights and the right to possess firearms.
Cocaine Possession Conviction in Georgia depends on the Prosecution Proving Their Case
A person can be arrested for possession of cocaine, but that does not mean if they are guilty. Prosecutors in Atlanta must prove their case beyond reasonable doubt. To prove their case, they must use elements set forth by Georgia. These elements include whether possession was constructive or actual.
Constructive cocaine possession means the person is accused of having the cocaine somewhere near them. For instance, the cocaine was allegedly found in a gym bag, car or room in a house. Prosecutors the individual had control of the cocaine even if it was not found on them because they knew where it was.
Unfortunately, a lot of people could be charged with cocaine possession just for being at the wrong place at the wrong time or picking up the wrong bag in a home shared with a roommate. Actual cocaine possession occurs when the cocaine was found on an individual during a police search.
The cocaine may have been in a person’s pants’ pocket, in their underwear or book bag. It does not matter if a person tries to throw the drugs away. They can still be accused of possession of cocaine. It is not considered abandoned property.
Possession of Cocaine is a Felony in Georgia
Schedule II drugs have a high potential for abuse because they can lead to physical dependence. Thus, Georgia will try to make the punishment for having drugs like cocaine extremely severe. If a person is convicted of possessing cocaine, they will receive two to 15 years in prison for a first offense.
Any second or subsequent offense increases the penalty. The person faces a minimum of five years and maximum of 30 years in prison.
A Possession of Cocaine Charge in Georgia can Increase to a More Serious Charge
The state could decide that a person did not have the cocaine for personal use. Instead, it can determine the person intended to sell or distribute the cocaine to other people. This assumption is based on several factors including the amount of the drug allegedly found on, or around, the individual.
The prosecutor would have to prove the person possessed the cocaine with the intent to distribute or sell. The charge could also increase to possession with intent to sell or distribute if a person has cocaine, a large amount of money, or baggies on them.
For instance, an individual in Atlanta accused of possessing 28 grams or more of cocaine could be charged with cocaine trafficking. Cocaine trafficking involves selling or distributing the drug to other people for a profit.
Thus, a possession of cocaine first conviction ranges from two to 15 years in prison. If the charge is increased to cocaine trafficking, the penalty for a first-time conviction is a mandatory minimum of 10 years.
Defenses to Cocaine Possession in Atlanta Georgia From Yeargan & Kert, LLC
The exact defense used to prove an individual’s innocence will depend on the facts of the case. Every possession of cocaine charge is different. For instance, the following are some general defenses used. A defense lawyer may use a more specific defense than the following:
- The drugs did not belong to the defendant
- The drugs produced by prosecutors are not the drugs taken during the arrest
- The “drug” seized looked like cocaine, but was not
Contact Yeargan & Kert, LLC for Assistance with Your Georgia Possession Case
You or a loved one was charged with possessing cocaine in Georgia. Now it is time to fight this charge. You have more to do with your life than spending two to 15 years in prison. Let’s fight together. We are Yeargan & Kert, LLC. We will fight to prove your innocence, get the case dismissed or reduced. Contact Yeargan & Kert, LLC today.