In a state with overcrowded prisons and a significant problem with drug crime, a good attorney may be able to help offer you a solid and effective defense if you have been charges with drug possession.
If you are presently being charged for possession, your penalties depend on a number of factors including the type of drug, where you were physically located when arrested, the amount and what you intended to do with it; for example, if you were caught with less than an ounce of marijuana on your person and intended to smoke it yourself, the penalties would be much lighter than if you were caught with heroin or cocaine.
In the United States, drugs are categorized into schedules with Schedule I substances being the most serious. Schedule I substances would include: heroin, peyote, LSD, GHB, ecstasy and hallucinogenic mushrooms. Whereas Schedule II substances would include: cocaine, crack-cocaine, opium, methadone, oxycodone and methamphetamines. These lists are not exhaustive and even many prescription drugs are considered controlled substances. Even possessing someone else’s prescription or selling your own prescription medication is in violation of Georgia law and is a criminal offense.
In Georgia, you don’t have to have the drugs in your pocket or in your hand to be found guilty. The state of Georgia defines possession as either “actual” or “possessive,” meaning you could be charged with possession if they are in your home or in your vehicle, as long as it can be proved that they were in your control.
Where other states have practically decriminalized marijuana possession, in Georgia, possession of more than one ounce of marijuana is a felony offense and can land you in prison for anywhere ranging from 1 to 10 years.
Possession of less than an ounce of marijuana is a misdemeanor with potential penalties involving up to $1,000 in fines and one year in prison. Being in possession of a Schedule 1 or 2 drugs is a felony offense and sentencing can range from 2 to 15 years on a first offense, longer for second or subsequent offenses.
What’s more, if you are convicted of possession in Georgia, your driver’s license will be suspended for a mandatory six months on your first offense. On a second offense, you will lose your driving privileges for one full year and longer for third or more offenses.
Regardless if this is your first offense, or your third, an attorney will give you the greatest opportunity for beating your charges. If this is your first offense, you may be eligible for a conditional discharge, which allows you to admit to possession without a conviction or guilty plea going on your record. You would then be placed on probation and as long as you follow the terms of your probation, your original charges could be dropped.
If you or a family member are facing criminal charges, call us at 678-324-8511 or click here to discuss the particulars of your case by scheduling an initial consultation. You deserve to go through this ordeal with a committed attorney on your team.
Forging Your Spouse’s Signature on Divorce Documents is NOT a wise idea…In Fact, It May Land You In Jail
Under Georgia law, forgery is classified as either first, second, third, or fourth degree forgery. Third and fourth degree forgery deal with checks, while first and second degree forgery deal with other documents. First-degree forgery is the most serious offense.
Intent to defraud
In order to be convicted of any kind of forgery in Georgia, the accused must act with the intent to defraud. People have the intent to defraud when they intend to deceive, trick, or injure others, or better their own position through forgery. For example, a person who makes fake admission badges to a major golf tournament intending to sell the badges as authentic to unsuspecting fans has the intent to defraud. A person who makes a fake badge as a gag joke for a friend who loves golf intends to entertain, not defraud, and has not committed a crime.
First and second degree forgery
A person commits the crime of second degree forgery by making, altering, or possessing any forged writing (other than a check). “A writing” is broadly defined under Georgia’s forgery law and includes both written and printed documents and “money, coins, tokens, stamps, seals, credit cards, badges, trademarks,” and other symbols of value or identification, such as signatures and UPC labels. A forged writing is one that that purports to have been made:
- by another person (real or fictitious)
- at another time
- with different provisions, or
- with the permission of a person who did not give permission.
A person commits the crime of first degree forgery by committing second degree forgery and also “uttering or delivering” (offering or using) the writing. For example, a person who prints counterfeit currency and uses it to buy goods at a store could be convicted of first degree forgery. In contrast, a person who merely helps print counterfeit money, but never tries to use it may only be convicted of second degree forgery.
Third and fourth degree forgery (check forgery)
Third degree forgery is committed by making, altering, possessing, or uttering (trying to pass off as legitimate) a forged check in the amount of $1,5000 or more; or by possessing ten or more blank forged checks. A person commits fourth degree forgery by making, altering, possessing, or uttering a forged check for less than $1,5000 or by possessing fewer than ten blank forged checks.
(Ga. Code Ann. § 16-9-1.)
Forgery in the first degree is punishable by one to 15 years’ imprisonment. Second and third degree forgery are punishable by one to five years in prison. Fourth degree forgery is a misdemeanor, but a person who is convicted of fourth degree forgery for the third (or subsequent) time must be sentenced to one to five years in prison. (Ga. Code Ann. § 16-9-2.) Misdemeanors are punishable by a fine of up to $1,000, up to 12 months in county jail, both a fine and time in county jail, or up to 12 months in a state diversion center. For more information on sentencing, see Georgia Misdemeanor Crimes by Class and Sentences and Georgia Felony Crimes by Class and Sentences.
Obtaining Legal Assistance
A criminal conviction in Georgia can result in time in prison, jail, or a state diversion center, a fine, and a serious criminal record, which can prevent you from holding certain jobs. Many criminal convictions, especially for fraud crimes like forgery, also have to be reported to licensing boards, and may make it difficult to pass a background check or obtain a job. Your best chance of obtaining a favorable sentence in court is to talk to an experienced criminal defense attorney about the charges. An attorney can explain the law, answer your questions, tell you how your case is likely to fare, and help you successfully navigate the criminal justice system. If you are seeking a divorce and unable to get your spouse to sign the appropriate paperwork, for whatever reason, there are legal methods to end your marriage.
To discuss the particulars of your divorce or criminal charges, please call 678.324.8511 or send us an e-mail at info@LawrenceLegal.Law!
Charged with Possession of Marijuana?
Being caught in possession of a controlled substance does not make you an addict. But it can feel like that is what you are accused of, after you’ve been arrested for drug possession and people find out what happened. The stigma attached to a drug possession charge is often the most stressful thing about such a life event.
Unfortunately, the stigma is now the least of your worries. You’ve got a serious legal problem to deal with. Drug possession charges can result in years behind bars and potentially a lifetime of carrying the “convicted felon” label.
This means it can affect your job, your education, your housing, your personal relationships, and even your marriage. Though such charges are often taken lightly, they are quite serious and should be treated accordingly.
Remember a criminal charge is NOT a conviction.If you or a family member has been arrested for a drug possession offense, call us at 678-324-8511 or click here to discuss the particulars of your case by scheduling an initial consultation. You deserve to go through this ordeal with a committed defense attorney on your team.
Felony theft in Georgia
Felony theft is the theft of property that is valued more than $500. Depending on the severity of the theft, a judge can decide to deem a theft of items valued over $500 as a misdemeanor. This is solely at the discretion of the judge. If a judge considers the theft to be a felony, the punishment accompanying a conviction will be a sentence of imprisonment not to exceed 10 years (under certain circumstances) but no less than one year.
If you or a family member has been arrested for a theft, call us at 678-324-8511 or click here to discuss the particulars of your case by scheduling an initial consultation. You deserve to go through this ordeal with a committed defense attorney on your team.
The differences between misdemeanor theft and felony theft.
There are other circumstances under which a theft can be considered a felony.
-Any kind of theft involving a breach of a fiduciary relationship.
-The theft of any government property or bank property by an employee.
-Theft of a motor vehicle or part of a motor vehicle that is valued over $100.
-Theft of a destructive device, explosive or a firearm.
-Any theft committed while telemarketing, utilizing a computer or engaging in home repair or improvement.
Whether you are charged with felony or misdemeanor theft, there is one thing that remains constant: You are in desperate need of an experienced criminal defense attorney to take on your case. Attempting to fight your charges on your own will only make matters worse.
Shoplifting is a common first offense, which means many people charged with this crime have no idea what will happen next. In Georgia, shoplifting can be charged as a felony, and even a first conviction can have lifelong consequences in addition to jail time and fines. Many people arrested for shoplifting in Georgia have a dizzying number of questions.
If you’ve been charged with shoplifting in Georgia, do not make the mistake of taking these charges lightly, even if it’s your first offense. And especially if you are undocumented or have yet to naturalize. Georgia police and courts take these charges very seriously, and they can be charged as misdemeanors and felonies depending on the circumstances of the arrest. If you need help fighting shoplifting charges or have a shoplifting charge on your record, don’t wait to call us.
Even a misdemeanor like shoplifting or petty theft can be upgraded to aggravated felony under immigration law. Shoplifting is considered aggravated felony if the actual sentence from the court is one year or longer of jail time, even if you don’t serve jail time due to a suspended sentence.
The legal process may move slowly after you’ve been arrested, but that doesn’t mean you can wait to start protecting yourself. If you or a family member has been arrested for a shoplifting offense, call us at 678-324-8511 or click here to discuss the particulars of your case. You deserve to go through this ordeal with a committed attorney on your team.