Savannah Drug Possession Defense Lawyers
Depend on Our Experienced & Personalized Legal Defense
Were you recently arrested for possession of a controlled substance in Savannah? A conviction for this type of crime can lead to long-term prison sentences and a permanent criminal record. The good news is that you do not have to face your charges on your own. Schneider Lerch Bronston, LLC is here to help you understand your charges, the potential punishments, and your options for defending your rights and freedom. We have a track record of success in helping people in similar situations obtain reduced sentences and case dismissals.
Should you take a plea bargain or fight your case at trial? Find out today by calling our Savannah possession defense lawyers at (912) 417-5008 or by reaching out here online to get a free initial consultation.
Georgia Controlled Substance Schedules
In Georgia, controlled substances are separated into five distinct “schedules” or lists of substances, as determined by federal law. The division is determined based on each drug's potential for abuse and dependence and whether it has any approved medicinal use.
The controlled substance schedules include:
Schedule I Drugs
These are substances that have a high potential for abuse and no medical use. This includes drugs such as LSD, ecstasy, heroin, GHB, magic mushrooms, peyote, THC, and others.
Schedule II Drugs
This schedule includes substances with a high potential for abuse and dependence, but which also have a medical use. Prominent examples are cocaine, morphine, codeine, amphetamine, opium, meth, Oxy, methadone, and others.
Schedules III, IV, and V
We now to start move into drugs that have progressively lower potential for abuse and addiction and which have been recognized as being medicinally beneficial.
- Schedule III includes hydrocodone, ketamine, and testosterone.
- Schedule IV’s prominent examples are Xanax, and Valium, along with prescription uppers and downers of various brands and types.
- Schedule V deals with prescription drugs with limited levels of certain controlled substances to treat various diseases and conditions.
These drug schedules are important to a defendant, as they will have a determination about the charges filed and the sentences that can be imposed. If you are facing charges of drug possession, you need to get informed about your various options, and what to do to protect yourself.
Call Schneider Lerch Bronston, LLC at (912) 417-5008 today.
All controlled possession crimes are felonies, with the exception of those that involve small amounts of marijuana. The particular punishment for felony possession is determined by the type of drug involved. In addition, those who have previous drug-related convictions can incur harsher penalties.
The penalties for possession of a controlled substance include:
Possession of a Schedule I or Schedule II drug
Having less than one gram (or one ml of a liquid) is punishable by a prison term between one to three years and having up to four grams or ml carries a prison term between one year and eight years.
Non-Narcotic Schedule II Substances
Having less than two grams or ml of a liquid is punishable by a prison sentence of between one year and three years and having up to four grams or ml carries a prison term between one year and eight years.
Possession of Schedule III, IV, or V
Possession of any of these substances is punishable by a prison term between one and three years.
When Charges Can Be Upgraded to Possession With Intent
Typically, if you only have a small quantity of a controlled substance in your possession for personal use, you will be charged with simple possession. However, when there is a significant amount of the drug in question, the charge can be upgraded to possession with intent. Other factors that may lead to upgraded charges include the presence of scales, small plastic bags, and a large number of cases when law enforcement found the drugs.
The Consequences of Possession With Intent
Penalties for simple possession are serious enough on their own. Yet, if you are convicted for possession with intent, your sentence can be increased substantially, potentially leading to years of imprisonment and thousands of dollars in fines. In addition, you will have a felony on your permanent record that will likely impact many future endeavors, such as getting a job, renting an apartment, or traveling outside of the U.S.
The specific punishment for possession with intent depends on several factors, including:
- The type of controlled substance.
- The amount of controlled substance in your possession.
- Whether or not the police found drug paraphernalia.
- Any previous drug-related offenses.
The range of penalties for possession with intent involving Schedule I and II drugs is between five and 30 years in prison for a first offense. Second and subsequent offenses can result in a 10 to 40-year prison sentence or even life. When the crime involves Schedule III, IV, and V drugs, the penalty is one to 10 years in prison.
We fight for “not guilty” verdicts. Call (912) 417-5008 or just use our online contact form now to get a strong Savannah drug possession defense attorney from Schneider Lerch Bronston, LLC on your side.
How To Beat a Possession Charge in Georgia
As a defendant, you hold certain rights. These include:
- The right to remain silent.
- The right to defend yourself.
- The right to an attorney.
- The right to due process.
- The right to be protected from being arrested with probable cause.
- The right to be protected from illegal search and seizure.
After an arrest, you need to exercise your rights, particularly the right to remain silent. There are many cases that become more difficult to defend merely because the accused answered questions, argued with police, made admissions, or other actions. Remain absolutely silent other than providing your name and address, and immediately tell the police you need to speak with your attorney and do not want to be questioned without your counsel present. Police cannot legally question you if you ask for an attorney and must wait until your defense lawyer arrives to continue. At that point, you are protected from making any statements that could harm your case.
Several potential defenses can be explored if you have been charged with possessing a controlled substance in Georgia. The most common defense is to challenge the officer's search and seizure methods or to question the identification of the drug. Other potential defenses include claiming that the substance was for medicinal or scientific use, or it could be argued that the accused did not possess the drug but had knowledge one was present. The attorneys are Schneider Lerch Bronston, LLC are experienced in these cases and can help determine your best defense.
Additionally, we can help you negotiate with the prosecution for lesser charges or reduced sentences. We may also be able to discuss alternative sentencing options, such as community service or rehab programs, which could result in the dismissal of the charge. We aim to protect your rights and strive to get you the best possible outcome for your case.
If this is your first time being arrested for possession of a controlled substance, you might be able to obtain a conditional discharge. Instead of being sentenced to jail, a court may decide to impose a period of probation. If the terms of the probation are followed, and any additional requirements like attending a drug treatment program are met, your charges will be dismissed and will not be added to your record.
How Our Savannah Drug Possession Lawyers Can Help
There are many people who are so frightened when arrested and charged that they make the wrong moves. These people may not even realize that there is a high potential for having the charges dismissed, and make the serious error of pleading guilty. When you plead guilty, the process comes to an end, and the next phase is sentencing. You cannot change a "guilty" plea to "not guilty," whereas you can change "not guilty" to "guilty" if this proves to bring some advantage that you, as an informed defendant and in close communication with counsel, believe is the best strategy.
Never plead guilty to any drug possession charge without first retaining defense counsel that you can trust to engage in the most effective strategies for you. Our experienced lawyers are dedicated to helping our clients achieve the best possible outcome. After we evaluate your case, our legal team can help you understand your rights and options during this time.
Obtaining a case dismissal, or even a reduction of charges, never comes easy, especially with felony drug charges as serious as these. But we have the knowledge and resources to help craft a strategic defense to protect your rights and future. We have successfully handled thousands of cases, won many jury trials, and are not afraid to go head-to-head with the most renowned prosecutors. Should you choose to work with us, we can mount a strong defense on your behalf to help get your charges reduced or dismissed.
Do not wait to call (912) 417-5008 or to reach out here online to schedule your free initial case review. The sooner you call, the sooner we can start formulating an effective strategy.
At Schneider Lerch Bronston, LLC, you have an entire legal team on your side when dealing with serious criminal matters. We are ready to help you obtain the best possible outcome in your case.