How Are Drug Charges Determined To Be A Misdemeanor Or A Felony?
Whether a drug charge is a misdemeanor or a felony depends on which drug is involved. As a general rule, if someone possesses less than an ounce of marijuana, it’s considered to be a misdemeanor in Georgia. Determining the level of severity of the drug that the citizen is caught with is normally linked to the Georgia Code that talks about different Schedules of drugs. There are Schedules One, Two, Three, Four, and Five. Schedule One drugs are considered to have a high potential for abuse and no accepted medical use. These include heroin, LSD, psilocybin, mushrooms, and MDMA.
Oddly enough, marijuana is also considered to be a Schedule one drug by the US government, despite many states recognizing it as having medical uses. Georgia treats marijuana possession differently than other Schedule One drugs, in that simple possession ounce is just a misdemeanor. However, if someone extracts THC oil from marijuana or processes it in some way, then it can become a dangerous Schedule One felony.
Schedule Two drugs are considered to have a high potential for abuse but have some accepted medical use. These drugs include cocaine, amphetamine, opium, morphine, codeine, hydrocodone, oxycodone, ketamine and fentanyl. Schedule Three drugs are considered to have less potential for abuse than Schedule One and Schedule Two drugs and have some accepted medical use but may lead to moderate or low physical dependence, if abused. Schedule Three drugs include certain stimulants, anabolic steroids, and barbiturates
Schedule Four drugs are considered to have a low potential for abuse, compared to the other Schedules, and are often drugs such as prescribed Xanax, Alazopram, Diazepam (valium), and Ambien. Lastly, Schedule Five drugs are considered to have a low potential for abuse, compared to the other schedules, accepted medical use, and may have some psychological dependence. These are easier to defend and are less serious. They can include syrups, inhalers, sprays, elixirs, and sometimes ointments.
Can Police Execute A Warrantless Search Of My Vehicle Or My Premises If They Suspect That A Drug-Related Crime Is Taking Place?
As a general rule, car searches prior to an arrest require some sort of probable cause without a warrant. After an arrest, officers are allowed to do an inventory search, supposedly for the protection of the citizen’s property. As far as houses go, a search warrant is generally required. There are some cases, under what they call exigent circumstances, where an officer does not have to get a warrant to search your home.
For more information on Drug Charges In The State Of Georgia, a free initial consultation is your next best step. Get the information and legal answers you are seeking by calling (404) 681-4000.