What Are The Common Types Of Criminal Cases That Your Firm Handles?
We get lots of telephone calls from people all over the state based on our reputation. Some of the most frequent calls are regarding DUI cases, traffic violations, domestic battery (which can be considered felony aggravated assault if strangulation was involved), kidnapping, criminal damage to property, and aggravated battery. We also handle a lot of marijuana violations and gun violations. If you are a convicted felon, it is a five-year felony to possess a weapon. It is also a five-year felony to possess a weapon during the commission of a felony.
We receive a lot of calls from people who are driving through Georgia to music festivals or other events, and who get arrested for having party drugs or marijuana in their vehicle. Some people get charged with felony drug possession, others get charged with drug trafficking or possession with intent to distribute. Frequently, these people will end up facing multiple drug charges due to the presence of multiple types of drugs in the vehicle, or baggies and scales indicating intent to distribute.
With marijuana being legal in 19 or 20 different states, charges of possession with intent to distribute are becoming increasingly common. In Georgia, it is a felony to carry marijuana that doesn’t have any green leafy material in it. This means that it is a felony to carry marijuana brownies, cookies, gummy bears, THC vape pen cartridges, etc. If you bring edibles back from a ski trip in Colorado and you get caught, that it is a felony. We encounter these types of cases all the time.
We focus our practice on DUI defense, but as a matter of course, we end up consulting with many different types of people who have been charged with many different types of crimes. We have a reputation of being aggressive, innovative, attentive, and caring lawyers. We are not a puppy mill; we don’t run a great number of clients through and plead every single client out. We take every client’s case very seriously, investigate each case very thoroughly, and always make ourselves available to our clients. Clients can reach us through text message or by calling at any time. In order to provide this level of availability to clients, we have to charge a higher fees than many of the other lawyers in town. Also to protect the clients that have already hired us, we charge consultation fees for most felony cases and even some non-DUI and non-drug misdemeanors. In the end, I find that clients prefer having strong communication with us, and find comfort in knowing that we are just a phone call or text away working hard on their case and not on the phone giving out free advice. We also prefer it this way, because we do not want a reputation for processing clients—we want known for aggressively defending people, winning cases and getting justice for our clients.
How Does Georgia Treat Marijuana Possession And Marijuana Product Possession?
In Georgia, marijuana is still illegal, even though it is legal both recreationally and medicinally in as many as 20 other states. Hemp is legal in Georgia, but it has to have a very low THC content. THC is the component of marijuana that makes it intoxicating or gets you “high,” so to speak. There are trace amounts of THC in hemp (less than one percent), whereas many new hybrid strains of marijuana coming out of Colorado and California have a THC concentration of up to 20 percent. In the 1970s, most types of marijuana had a THC concentration level of about six percent.
For the past 10 or 15 years, Georgia law enforcement have been using a three-part field test to determine what is and what is not marijuana. Essentially, it analyzes the plant’s leafy materials and tests for the presence of THC in two different ways. THC is present both in hemp and marijuana; hemp and marijuana look identical and smell identical when burned, so they are indistinguishable. The only difference between hemp and marijuana is that hemp has very little THC, and marijuana typically contains six to 10 percent THC. The only way to test and distinguish between hemp and marijuana is to perform a test on a gas chromatography mass spectrometry device, which can determine the percentage of THC in the plant material, marijuana oil, or THC oil that’s being analyzed in a particular situation.
The Georgia Bureau of Investigation (GBI) will not test marijuana unless it’s involved in some sort of sale or possession with intent to distribute, or unless there is more than one ounce (28 grams) of marijuana at issue. Without testing it, there is no way to determine the differences between small amounts of marijuana and small amounts of hemp. In effect, there is a less than an ounce presumption of innocence in Georgia for marijuana, and there is also the presumption of hemp.
Until and unless the state can prove that the marijuana has THC concentrations above that of hemp, they can’t distinguish it from hemp, so it’s very difficult for them to prosecute. There have been a few prosecuting attorneys who have found labs out of state that are testing marijuana, and they are trying to provide their testimony via video conferencing devices like WebEx or Zoom, but those are generally the exception. Most prosecuting attorney’s offices are just not prosecuting marijuana when there is less than an ounce of it.
If you have been arrested in Georgia for carrying less than an ounce of marijuana and they are proceeding with the charges, you need to get an attorney who is thoroughly versed in the new hemp and marijuana laws, as well as marijuana and hemp testing, so that you can get your marijuana charges dismissed or reduced.
For more information on Common Criminal Cases Handled In Georgia, an initial consultation is your next best step. Get the information and legal answers you are seeking by calling (770) 961-5511.