There are countless ways law enforcement can charge someone if they are involved with illegal drugs or substances. In Georgia, state law recognizes five main types of drug convictions, each one ranging in severity and punishment.
This month, we’re taking a closer look at each drug conviction category, examining what they entail and the punishments they can lead to.
What Are the 5 Types of Drug Charges Recognized in Georgia?
In the state of Georgia, there are five main actions that can result in a drug conviction:
Anyone involved in the production process of an illegal substance, even if participation is minimal, runs the risk of conviction for manufacturing illicit drugs. The punishment for a manufacturing conviction is time in prison and substantial fines.
A drug distribution charge applies when someone works to distribute a large amount of any illegal substance by selling, transporting, or importing it. A distribution charge is more intense than a possessions charge. In fact, distribution is one of the most serious drug crimes in Georgia, and the consequences of conviction can range from a few years to life in prison.
A common mistake is confusing distribution for drug trafficking. Although both are serious offenses, a drug trafficking conviction has everything to do with the weight of the drugs present. Georgia law states that each illicit substance has a set weight limit which helps determine if the drug crime in question is a felony or a misdemeanor. Anyone caught with drugs exceeding the limit could receive a trafficking charge, even if no one is actively transferring the drugs.
In many cases, a drug trafficking conviction is attached to distribution, possession, and/or manufacturing charges.
A drug possession charge occurs when someone is caught with a small amount of drugs either on their person or on their property. The severity of the charge depends on the illegal substance and the amount in question. If a person is caught with a small quantity of drugs, they will likely only receive a possessions charge. If the amount is larger, their conviction could also involve a charge for trafficking and intent to distribute, increasing the severity and punishment of the crime.
When someone is caught buying an illegal substance from another person, they will likely receive a drug purchasing charge. The punishment for a purchasing conviction is similar to that of a possession charge. The type of substance and the purchased amount factor in to how severe the punishment will be.
A person charged for dealing drugs was probably caught selling a small amount. The act of dealing is similar to distributing because the intent for both is to sell the drugs. However, the amount of drugs determines if the charge should be for selling or for distributing.