Georgia Drug Law: A Cheat Sheet

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Few states are as strict with laws surrounding drugs as Georgia. In Georgia, penalties are severe and range dependent on A) the nature of the offense (possession of drugs, intent to distribute or sell drugs, or trafficking drugs) and B) the specific drug you are being prosecuted for. Having an attorney who understands these drug crime classifications and can dismiss or reduce your drug charge to a lesser classification is central to an effective defense.

Among others, the Georgia Legislature has criminalized these controlled substances:

            • Marijuana

            • Cocaine

            • Heroin

            • Ecstasy

            • Methamphetamine

Classification of Offenses and Penalties

Possession of a drug, under O.C.G.A. § 16-13-30(a). Possession of a drug can be either actual possession of the drug or constructive possession of the drug. Actual possession of a drug is when a defendant has the drug on their person, and Constructed Possession is when a defendant is close enough in proximity to the drug to possess it if they desired. Bixon Law is heavily experienced in casting doubt on the legitimacy of the court’s assertion that you knowingly possessed a drug.

Possession of a drug with intent to sell or distribute the drug, under O.C.G.A. § 16-13-30(b). Escalating the charge to an intent to sell or distribute the drug rarely stems from a defendant stating “I, John Doe, intend to sell you a drug”. Instead, these charges typically result from context clues such as tools (scales, packaging, etc) used to turn a profit off the drugs. Any cop can charge you for intending to sell or distribute a drug at their discretion, regardless of how frivolous their reasoning is as to why they think that you are selling the drug. To be convicted, however, the judge or jury must agree that the officer’s reasoning for assuming you were selling the drug was valid, and that there is no other reasonable use for the objects they are hinging their allegation on. Bixon Law has a proven playbook for discrediting the officer’s assumption around the use of objects in question.

Trafficking of a drug, under O.C.G.A. § 16-13-31, The only qualification for a drug trafficking charge is the amount (by weight) of the drug that you possess. This weight requirement varies from drug to drug, and penalties increase as weight of the drugs increases. Drug trafficking charges do not require any proof that you intend to sell the drug or profit off of the drug. Everything comes down to the officer weighing the drug and presenting the weight as evidence. With over a decade of experience in criminal defense of drug crimes, Bixon Law is familiar with various chain of custody violations that officers can commit, and has a track record of having this evidence suppressed before it ever reaches a jury.

Penalties for Drug Crimes

Below is a chart detailing the sentencing imposed for various drug crimes in Georgia. Bixon Law will start by bringing evidence into question and attempting to get your case dismissed. In situations where the evidence cannot be suppressed, Bixon Law has proven experience reducing the classification of your charge, and improving your outcome to a dramatically less severe sentence.


If you have been charged with a Georgia drug crime, give Bixon Law a call today to speak to one of our experienced Georgia criminal defense lawyers. We will vigorously defend your legal rights and advocate on your behalf to have your case dismissed or the charges against you reduced. As experienced trial attorneys, we are also not afraid to take your case to trial if necessary. We represent clients in Atlanta and throughout the state of Georgia. We are lawyers who are committed to helping people in difficult situations and we invite you to call us at 404-551-5684 for a free consultation today.