DUI Drugs and possession charges tend to go hand in hand. These arrests are becoming even more of a regular occurrence in Georgia. If a person is charged with DUI Drugs or DUI Marijuana in Georgia, he or she may not qualify for a permit to drive. The penalties are extremely harsh.
So in today's post I'd like to focus on the offenses of DUI Drugs and Possession of Marijuana as it is the most common possession charge in Georgia.
DUI Drugs in Georgia
As I mentioned above, DUI Drugs in Georgia are becoming increasingly frequent, and Georgia police are likely to assume a driver is under the influence of drugs when they are not showing signs of a traditional DUI. For the best explanation, let's look to the law within the Georgia Code to understand what the offense entails.
“A person shall not drive while under the influence of any drug to the extent that it is less safe for the person to drive; a person shall not drive under the influence of a combination of substances (i.e. drugs and alcohol) to the extent that it is less safe for the person to drive; a person cannot be under the influence of prescription drugs, even if a drug or drugs are prescribed legally" (O.C.G.A. §40-6-391).
To be convicted of DUI Drugs, the state of Georgia must prove whether or not someone is driving under the influence of a drug or drugs to the extent that he or she is a less safe driver. There is no quantitative legal limit for drug consumption, so officers' observations are usually the determining factors. All Georgia officers are specifically trained to look for clues such as: the accused person's driving, mannerisms, performance of standardized field sobriety tests, and conversational skills.
A first-time conviction for DUI-Drugs in Georgia results in a minimum of 24 hours in jail, a fine of at least $300, 12 months on probation, completion of 40 hours of community service, DUI school, and a clinical drug and alcohol evaluation.
However, these are just the legal minimums, and in most jurisdictions judges impose more severe Georgia DUI Penalties. If convicted of DUI-Drugs, a person could face up to a six-month driver's license suspension.
Possession of Marijuana in Georgia
In Georgia, there is a specific statute that governs marijuana in the Georgia Code.
"It is unlawful for any person to possess, have under his or her control, manufacture, deliver, distribute, dispense, administer, purchase, sell, or possess with intent to distribute marijuana." O.C.G.A. §16-13-30(j).
A charge for possession of marijuana in Georgia for 1 ounce or less is considered a misdemeanor with an incarceration duration of 1 year and a maximum fine of $1,000. If found with more than an ounce of marijuana, the crime is elevated to a felony and includes one to ten years of imprisonment.
The Georgia Controlled Substances Act regulates marijuana. Illegal drugs are considered controlled substances, and Georgia Law classifies them into five different schedules. Hashish and other concentrates containing more than fifteen percent of THC by volume are a Schedule I substance by the Georgia Controlled Substances Act.
Even more interesting, a person can receive a possession of marijuana charge even if he or she is not personally holding the marijuana itself. If an individual is found to be in control of the marijuana, then he or she is considered to be in possession of it.
If you or a loved one has been charged with DUI Drugs or Possession of Marijuana, contact a Georgia DUI Lawyer today. We are here to help.