Getting caught with cocaine in Georgia is a serious affair: In agreement with the DEA, Georgia lawmakers consider cocaine a Schedule II drug. Having cocaine in your possession carries far more serious ramifications than getting caught with a few ounces of marijuana, for example.

Whether police find you with a quarter ounce of cocaine or carrying a few pounds, possession of cocaine will likely result in at least one felony drug charge. If you do have more than a single ounce of cocaine on you, the charges may even include intent to traffic drugs.

Why the Law Is Tough on People Caught With Cocaine and Other Section II Drugs

Lawmakers have created five different categories (schedules) for drugs. The category a drug lands in depends on how addictive it is, the potential for harm to the user, and any recognized therapeutic uses. There’s a low chance of suffering serious harm or growing addicted to drugs that have a Schedule V ranking, for example, compared to higher Schedule drugs. By labeling cocaine a Schedule II drug, lawmakers acknowledge that science has found cocaine highly addictive—enough to make people who use it sufficiently desperate to break laws and endanger the general population. Cocaine is officially considered a Schedule II stimulant.

What Happens After a Cocaine Arrest?

Georgia courts connect two different words to cocaine arrests: actual and constructive. Both terms don’t change that you’re arrested for possession of cocaine. Their purpose is to let everyone involved in the case know if the cocaine was tucked into your pocket, or hidden somewhere on your body. If the court papers say constructive possession of cocaine, it means the officers found the substance near you, such as in the trunk of a car you were driving.

If this is the first time you’re arrested for cocaine, penalties could mean two to 15 years in prison and court fines. In addition, a conviction can also mean a felony record that can hurt your ability to get a job or find a place to live. If a court finds you guilty of cocaine possession a second time, the penalties include more fines and five to 30 years in prison.

If the amount of cocaine found and the circumstances of your arrest result in a drug trafficking charge, a guilty verdict can land you in a state prison for a minimum of 10 years.

Possession of cocaine could form just one of many charges. If police found the cocaine while you committed a different crime, such as ignoring a traffic law or driving under the influence, possession may result in tougher penalties for related crimes.

Contact Khonsari Law Group Right Away

The first thing you should do when you’re arrested for possession of cocaine in St. Petersburg is call Khonsari Law Group. We have a great deal of experience with drug related crimes, and will do everything in our power to ensure that authorities never violate your rights. Contact Khonsari Law Group online today for a free consultation, or call our office at (727) 269-5300. We are ready and willing to help you.