The number one circumstance that leads to arrests for drug crimes in Georgia is car stops. If you get pulled over, the officer can search the car if they have any reason to believe that there are drugs in the vehicle. Most of the time it’s because they smell marijuana or something similar. They could bring a dog to help search the car. The search doesn’t take more than 30-45 minutes. The timeframe isn’t set in stone, but the Court of Appeals has suggested that it cannot be longer than that. To avoid this situation, people should not carry drugs in their motor vehicle.
A house is a lot harder for police officers to get into. Normally, they will need a search warrant. A search warrant is obtained after the police have observed the residence and seen certain activity or informants have told them about the residence. Once it’s determined that they need to get into the residence, they’ll ask a judge to sign a search warrant.
Can Georgia Law Enforcement Use The Odor Of Marijuana To Search My Vehicle?
Georgia law enforcement officers can and will use the odor of marijuana to search a vehicle. When they search a car, they search the entire vehicle. In general, anything that’s in the car can be searched. If there is a backpack in which the ownership can be traced to another person that is not the driver of the car, that may be an issue. However, usually that’s not an issue. The judges don’t even care if the glove compartment is locked. There aren’t a lot of loopholes pertinent to a car search. Most of the time, the car search will result in a finding of drugs and two or three people arguing about who owns the drugs. I’ve seen officers take cars apart from the inside. They have a lot of leeway about what they can do in a car search.
Can A Passenger In A Vehicle Where Drugs Are Discovered Face A Drug Charge?
A passenger in a vehicle where drugs are discovered can and usually will face drug charges. If the driver doesn’t definitively claim the drugs that are found during the search of the car by the police officers, the innocent passengers will be charged with the drugs as well. It will be up to the lawyer and the process of the court to determine whether the passengers are guilty. Being in a car with drugs exposes you to the risk of possession of drug charges. Possession is a concept that is written in stone. If you’re able to possess the drugs, that is possession. However, it has to be proven that you knew about the drugs, which is where the crux of the argument stands that you didn’t know the drugs were there. If the other party doesn’t take responsibility, that’s the situation you’ll be in.
Is It Possible For My Defense Attorney To Mitigate The Drug Charges Against Me?
If you have a drug charge in Georgia, there are a couple of ways that your attorney can attempt to handle a first offense to stop a felony from going on your record. You can have a pretrial diversion for a first offense, which stops you from becoming a convicted felon if the probation is completed. A conditional discharge is another way you can mitigate drug charges. If you have already used those options, have been convicted of a felony, or have more awful cases, there are alternatives to jail to mitigate the penalties. Your defense lawyer will try to get you out of the felony conviction by getting you out on bond or keeping you from going to jail.
How Is A Drug Charge Determined As Either A Misdemeanor Or A Felony?
In Georgia, there is no choice in the determination between a misdemeanor or a felony. Marijuana is the only misdemeanor under the drugs category. The rest of the drugs are all felonies. Simple possession of any scheduled drug is a felony. As far as deciding the intent to distribute charge versus simple possession, that’s up to the assistant district attorney. They are going to decide whether to charge a person with personal use or intent to distribute the drugs depending on the amount. The prosecution will have to prove beyond a reasonable doubt the intent to distribute at trial.
For more information on Being Arrested For A Drug Crime In Georgia, an initial consultation is your next best step. Get the information and legal answers you are seeking by calling (912) 236-4878 today.
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