Penalties for Violation of Georgia Controlled Substance and Dangerous Drug Laws

Violations of Georgia Controlled Substances Act and Drug Offenses for Certain Drugs of Abuse

O.C.G.A. §§ 16-13-20 through 30

Possession of less than one ounce of marijuana is a misdemeanor under O.C.G.A. § 16-13-2(b), punishable by a term of incarceration of not more than 12 months or a fine not to exceed $1,000, or both, or public works not to exceed 12 months. Possession of more than 1 ounce is a felony, punishable by a term of incarceration of between 1 and 10 years.

Possession of marijuana with intent to distribute, or sale, delivery or distribution, depending on the quantity of marijuana, is a felony punishable by a term of incarceration of between one and 30 years, and fines between $100,000 and $1,000,000. O.C.G.A. § 16-13-30(j).

Georgia map

Drugs and narcotics that are illegal or only legal to possess with a lawful prescription are controlled substances. Georgia law classifies them into 5 Schedules. O.C.G.A. § 16-13-24. Schedule I drugs (for example, heroin, LSD, mushrooms, ecstasy) are those that are considered to be the most dangerous and having no medicinal value. Schedule II drugs (for example, cocaine, methamphetamine, Hydrocodone, opium, and Codeine, etc.) are those that are restricted to medical purposes and require a prescription. Schedule III (steroids), Schedule IV (Xanax and Valium), and Schedule V drugs are those that must be lawfully prescribed and have varying potential for abuse.

Unlawful possession of any Schedule I Controlled Substance, Schedule II narcotic, or Schedule II non-narcotic is felony punishable by a term of incarceration of 2 to 30 years, depending on the quantity. Unlawful possession of Schedule III, IV or V controlled substance is a felony and punishable by a 1 to 5 year term of incarceration.

Unlawful sale/distribution of any Schedule I or II Controlled Substance is a felony punishable by a term of incarceration of one to 30 years in prison, depending on quantity. Sale of any Schedule III, IV or V Controlled Substance is a felony punishable by one to ten years in prison, depending on quantity.