Georgia takes drug crimes very seriously and even possession charges can have serious repercussions. An experienced criminal defense attorney can help to mitigate the situation and possibly get your charges dismissed or reduced. Learn more about Strategies to Defend Against Georgia Possession Charges.
A conviction will leave a mark on your record that can interfere with your ability to get employment and housing in the future. Defending against drug possession allegations requires a thorough investigation and understanding of the State laws.
1. Concluding a Plea Agreement
Defending against weapons charges requires careful consideration of Georgia law and the specific facts of each case. The assistance of an experienced attorney is crucial.
Drug crimes are serious offenses that can result in hefty fines and long prison sentences. An attorney can help you build a defense and negotiate a plea agreement to minimize penalties.
Attorneys work to challenge evidence in drug possession cases, such as examining whether officers had articulable reasonable suspicion for the initial stop and probable cause to arrest. They also review search and seizure procedures to determine whether law enforcement violated your constitutional rights.
In some cases, a lawyer can convince the prosecutor to recommend deferral status or a diversion program for first-time offenders. If you successfully complete the terms of your deferral agreement, your charge will be dismissed and sealed from your record. This can benefit your future, as it may prevent an employer or landlord from reviewing your criminal record.
2. Defending a Search and Seizure Case
The state of Georgia takes a very harsh stance on drug crimes. Even possession of small quantities can lead to hefty jail time. A criminal defense attorney can help you find ways to avoid conviction.
Lawyers often start by investigating whether police followed guidelines during the search of your property and/or car. They look to see if they were given permission, a warrant or probable cause to enter your property and take the drugs.
Another strategy is claiming that the drugs did not belong to you or that you were unaware of their presence. The state usually assumes that the person who found the drugs is the owner and/or possessor of those drugs. This assumption can be rebutted by demonstrating that other people had equal access to the drugs in question. This could be particularly helpful if the drugs were discovered in the center console of a car where passengers can access them. This is referred to as the equal access argument.
3. Defending a Drug Distribution Case
Many states have harsh laws when it comes to drug possession and distribution charges. Georgia is no exception. These offenses can carry severe penalties depending on the type of drug and the amount possessed.
There are various legal defenses a person can use in a drug case. These include a lack of knowledge, which can be used when someone is arrested for drugs they did not know were in their home or vehicle. A defense attorney can also argue that the drugs belonged to someone else. This is referred to as the equal access defense.
Additionally, a good criminal defense lawyer can argue that the accused had a lawful prescription for the drugs in question. This only applies to controlled substances that can be lawfully prescribed by a medical professional. A skilled attorney can also fight for constitutional issues such as a police officer violating an individual’s Fourth Amendment rights to protect against unreasonable search and seizure. They can also contest an interrogation that was not conducted after a person was advised of their Miranda warning.
4. Defending a Drug Trafficking Case
As Georgia classifies methamphetamine as a Schedule II drug, if you are found in possession of it with intent to distribute it, you can face prison time that is significantly higher than if the offense was just simple possession. It is normal to feel scared and confused when you are charged with drug trafficking but you should remember your rights and only speak to law enforcement if your attorney is present.
One of the strategies your attorney can implement is arguing that you were not knowingly in possession of the drug since there was no proof that you owned it or intended to distribute it. Another strategy includes arguing that you were not guilty of entrapment since the police must advise subjects of their Miranda rights before questioning them under duress.
Attorneys also use their knowledge of search and seizure laws to check if police officers followed the Constitution when conducting a stop, detention, or search. If any of these elements are found to be a violation, your attorney can have the evidence suppressed and the charges against you dismissed.