Athens, GA Drug Trafficking Laws and Penalties

Drug Crimes

There are essentially three levels of drug crimes under Georgia law: simple possession, distribution and trafficking. Simple possession is exactly how it sounds. It is physical or constructive possession of a controlled substance. Distribution is giving, selling or distributing controlled substances to others. Trafficking offenses are the most serious and they carry the highest potential penalties. When facing a trafficking charge, there is a lot at stake. It’s vitally important to secure the services of an experienced criminal defense attorney who will aggressively defend your case.

What is Trafficking?

Drug trafficking encompasses a variety of actions, including cultivation, manufacturing and distribution of illegal substances. Though it is generally charged in cases where drugs are moved across state lines, a trafficking charge is far reaching and the state charges it in a wide range of cases. The decision to classify an allegation as trafficking often depends on the type and amount of the drug. For example, the percentage of pure cocaine in a cocaine mixture can result in a trafficking charge.

Potential Penalties

The penalties for a drug trafficking conviction are significant, as the state has adopted federal minimum sentencing guidelines. Actual punishments vary based on the type of substance and quantity involved.

Cocaine – For cocaine, at least 28 grams are necessary for a trafficking charge to apply.

  • A quantity between 28 grams and 200 grams leads to a minimum punishment of 10 years in prison.
  • A conviction for quantities between 200 grams and 400 grams result in a minimum sentence of least 15 years.
  • A conviction for quantities over 400 grams carry a mandatory minimum of 25 years in prison.

Marijuana – Trafficking applies to a quantity of at least 10 pounds.

  • A conviction for quantities between 10 pounds and 2,000 pounds results in a minimum sentence of five years.
  • A conviction for quantities between 2,000 pounds and 10,000 pounds results in a minimum sentence of seven years.
  • A conviction for 10,000 pounds or more results in a minimum sentence of 15 years.

Methamphetamine – Trafficking applies to a quantity of at least 28 grams.

  • A conviction for quantities between 28 grams and 200 grams results in a minimum sentence of 10 years.
  • A conviction for quantities between 200 grams and 400 grams results in a minimum sentence of 15 years.
  • A conviction for amounts greater than 400 grams results in a minimum sentence of 25 years.

Morphine or Heroin – Trafficking applies to a quantity of at least four grams.

  • A conviction for quantities between four grams and 14 grams results in a minimum sentence of five years
  • A conviction for quantities between 14 grams and 28 grams results in a minimum sentence of 10 years
  • A conviction for 28 grams or more results in a minimum sentence of 25 years

If you are facing drug trafficking charges in Athens, contact the Law Offices of J. Lee Webb. As an experienced Georgia criminal defense lawyer, J. Lee Webb can provide you with the aggressive defense you need to protect your name and your freedom. Contact the offices for a free case evaluation.

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