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Possession of a Controlled Substance With Intent to Distribute in Cobb County


In Georgia, to convict someone of drug possession, the state need only prove that the accused intended the substance in question for personal use. This alone, is a serious offense. However, if a certain amount is found in a person’s possession, prosecutors can try to establish that he or she is guilty of intending to sell or distribute those drugs to others. This is an even more serious crime that comes with hefty fines and extensive prison sentences.

More Than Just Possession 

Conviction for possession with intent requires more than just mere possession for self-use. Instead, prosecutors will need to prove that the accused intended to sell the drug to others. This can be achieved more easily in cases where a person was actually apprehended while selling or trying to sell the drug to someone (often an undercover police officer). These situations are relatively rare, however, so it’s more likely that the state will bring such charges based on circumstantial evidence, like the amount of the drug found, in combination with proof of sale, like scales, baggies, and even large amounts of cash.

Penalties Depend on the Substance 

When accused of possession with intent to distribute, the severity of the potential penalties that a person faces will depend largely on how the substance is categorized. In Georgia, controlled substances are broken down into five categories:

  • Schedule I, like LSD, heroin, and ecstasy;
  • Schedule II, such as methamphetamine, fentanyl, cocaine, and opium;
  • Schedule III, like anabolic steroids, Central Nervous System depressants and stimulants, and some barbiturates;
  • Schedule IV, such as Ambien, Xanax, and Klonopin; and
  • Schedule V, which includes mixtures that contain minimal amounts of narcotics.

The penalties for possession of a Schedule I or II drug with intent to distribute are most severe and come with a prison sentence of between five and 30 years. Possession of a Schedule III, IV, or IV substance, however, is penalized less harshly.

Prior Convictions and Arrest in Drug-Free Zones Can Result in Aggravated Charges 

First time drug offenses are usually penalized less severely than subsequent offenses. Those with prior convictions on their records, on the other hand, besides not qualifying for pre-trial diversion programs, will also face longer prison sentences. In fact, a person could be sentenced to up to 20 years in prison, even for a first time offense, merely based on where the accused was arrested. This is because, in Georgia, possession with intent to distribute within 1,000 feet of any of the following areas comes with enhanced penalties:

  • School grounds;
  • Parks;
  • Housing projects; and
  • Drug-free zones.

First time offenders who were arrested in a drug-free zone could face a 20 year prison sentence and a fine of $20,000, while a subsequent offense in such a location comes with a minimum of five, but up to 40 years imprisonment.

A Hard-Hitting Cobb County Drug Possession Attorney 

Having an experienced Cobb County drug possession lawyer on your side when facing criminal charges can make all the difference in the outcome of your case. Get started on mounting a strong case against the state’s claims by calling Andrew L. Schwartz, P.C. at 678-853-2500 today.




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