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Whether it involves a minor caught with alcohol or someone of any age apprehended with illegal drugs, possession of these substances is a crime. In some circumstances, a teen or young adult can be arrested for drug possession or underage possession of alcohol just by being an innocent passenger in a car with someone else who is carrying the controlled substance.
A possession charge can be a misdemeanor or a felony and carry fines, probation or jail time, and other penalties, depending on the type and amount of substance, age of the person caught, and other factors. Some of the most common possession charges faced by Georgia teens and young adults include minor in possession of alcohol (MIP), drug possession, and charges related to illegally possessing THC oil.
If you are being charged with holding one of these substances, you need representation from a dedicated drug defense attorney. A Cherokee County possession of illegal substances lawyer could protect you or your child’s rights and find the best defense strategy for your case.
Not only is it illegal for a minor to drink alcohol, but anyone under the age of 21 who is caught in possession of or attempting to purchase alcohol can be arrested and charged with MIP. An MIP charge is a misdemeanor in Georgia but can still carry fines, jail time, or both.
If convicted, a teen or young adult can be left dealing with a criminal record for the rest of their life. If an officer issues a ticket for possession instead of arresting a minor, this is still a serious charge and in most cases is also considered a misdemeanor offense. If charged or ticketed for a Minor in Possession, it is imperative to contact an experienced Cherokee County attorney to evaluate the charges and set a defense strategy.
Possessing a controlled substance like marijuana, cocaine, methamphetamine, heroin, or pharmaceuticals without a prescription is illegal. Most drug possession charges are felonies. Small amounts of marijuana are an exception; if caught with less than one ounce of marijuana, a teen or young adult faces a misdemeanor.
Individuals can also be charged with possession of drug-related objects, such as objects used to grow, ingest, inhale, or package an illegal drug. Possession with intent to distribute is another possible charge if the individual is suspected of transferring the drug to another person.
State law breaks controlled substances into five categories. The penalties for conviction of drug possession vary by the category of drug as well as the amount possessed. Penalties can include fines, jail time, probation, license suspension, sentencing to rehab or another program, or any combination of these. Charges can stay on a teen or young adult’s record for life.
Defending a drug possession charge includes identifying ways to minimize the long-term impacts of a conviction on a person’s life and ensuring that criminal law and constitutional rights, such as proper search and seizure, were not violated. A detail-oriented Cherokee County lawyer could keep all these factors in mind when working on your unique drug possession case.
Only limited amounts of “low THC” oil are legal, and only people with specific medical conditions can take advantage of these products after registering with the state. If a registered person is caught carrying more than the allowed 20 fluid ounces, or if any person who does not have a registration card is apprehended with even the slightest bit of low THC oil, that person could be charged with possession of a controlled substance and face either misdemeanor or felony charges depending, depending on the amount in their possession.
No other THC or marijuana products are legal statewide. In most cases, the charge is a felony if an individual is apprehended with more than an ounce of marijuana or any amount of THC not classified as low THC oil. Illegally possessing THC oil is as serious a charge in Georgia as possession of any other controlled substances.
Being convicted of drug possession can, unfortunately, have steep social, emotional, and criminal penalties for a young adult or teenager. For example, someone in high school might have trouble getting into the college they want, or a young adult in the work force might not hear back from their ideal jobs. Both social and professional relationships can be affected by a criminal case.
We understand that these consequences are frightening and will work to find alternative outcomes for you. In some cases, this is easier for younger people with no record of illegal behavior and who truly want to live responsibly.
Most teenagers who are arrested for drug possession will see their cases move forward in juvenile court. This applies to minors between the ages of 13 and 16. During this stage, a judge has significant discretion to impose a wide range of drug possession penalties. Our hardworking attorneys can help protect a teenage client’s rights and future at all stages of this court process.
For teenagers 17 years of age or older, drug possession charges will generally be prosecuted in criminal court as felony offenses, with the exception of less than one ounce of marijuana. Many different options can be explored in these cases, such as a pre-trial diversion program or Georgia’s Conditional Discharge Act, O.C.G.A. §16-13-2(a), which is allowed in some first-time drug possession cases. In those cases, if the defendant pleads guilty and then successfully completes certain terms then their case may ultimately be dismissed. For example, participation in a drug treatment program as well as other conditions could result in a dismissal of a first-time charge.
Outside of these scenarios, legal counsel in Cherokee County can also play a vital role in either negotiating favorable resolutions or fighting the case in court. In either scenario, we will seek to stop or mitigate the long-term effects a drug possession conviction can have, including the loss of job and housing opportunities due to mandatory criminal background checks.
Possession of any controlled substance can result in severe consequences if convicted. If you are accused of possessing an illegal drug or you are underage and charged with an MIP, consult the knowledgeable our knowledgeable defense attorneys to get started on your case.
A Cherokee County possession of illegal substances lawyer could assess the evidence against you or your teen child, figure out how to best proceed, and protect legal rights at all stages of the case process. Contact us online today to learn more.