Many of the people arrested for drug offenses in Georgia will face possession charges. State law establishes certain medications as controlled substances and other drugs as prohibited substances. Those caught in possession of a controlled substance without a valid prescription or a prohibited substance could face criminal charges.
Often, law enforcement professionals in Georgia will charge someone with possession for having a drug they shouldn’t, but sometimes people find themselves facing more serious charges. Law enforcement could also charge you with trafficking even if all they do is find you in possession of a drug.
The penalties for trafficking are much more serious. Trafficking charges on their own could lead to up to 30 years in prison. What are some of the situations that might lead to trafficking charges in Georgia?
When the amount or variety you possess implies it is not for personal use
Possession charges help punish those who possess and use prohibited substances for their own purposes. However, if the police catch someone with a large amount of drugs in their possession or a wide variety of different drugs, then that might lead the state to pursue trafficking charges.
While they have no evidence that the individual sold those drugs, prosecutors or law enforcement may believe that the amount or variety of drugs they found indicates that they are for sale and not for personal use.
When someone transports the drugs, especially across state lines
Trafficking charges can easily affect someone who helps with the transportation or delivery of controlled or prohibited substances. Driving a vehicle loaded with drugs from one city to another or even transporting illegally obtained prescription medication from Florida to Georgia could result in a trafficking charge if the person gets caught.
When police believe someone sells or manufactures the drug
The definition of trafficking in Georgia is broad and includes both manufacturing drugs as well as distributing or selling them to others. If the police find evidence that you have helped manufacture methamphetamine or cultivate marijuana, that could lead to trafficking charges. The same is true if your social media posts or text message history makes it look like you have distributed drugs to some of your social connections.