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How Georgia differentiates between intent to sell and drug trafficking

On Behalf of | May 7, 2024 | Drug Charges

Individuals facing drug charges in Georgia often hope that the state pursues the least serious charges possible. However, the standard practice by many prosecutors is to do exactly the opposite. The state often brings the most severe charges possible.

Prosecutors may even file numerous different criminal charges stemming from one arrest or precipitating incident. Someone accused of a violation of state law involving controlled substances might hope to face simple possession charges. However, a prosecutor might accuse them of either drug trafficking or possession with the intent to distribute the drugs instead. Both of those offenses are more serious than simple possession. Trafficking can be the more concerning of the two allegations.

What differentiates drug trafficking from possession with intent to distribute?

The details often make all the difference

The charges that state prosecutors pursue can depend on a variety of unique factors. Someone’s prior criminal record can influence whether the courts suspect them of possessing drugs with the intent to sell them to others or actively engaging in distribution. Additionally, the circumstances of someone’s arrest can affect what charges the state pursues.

Possession with intent might be more likely when an arrest occurs after a traffic stop or the discovery of drugs in someone’s home. Trafficking charges may occur when police officers interrupt what they believe to be a drug sale in progress or catch someone transporting a large amount of drugs.

The weight of the drugs involved can also be a key factor. Possessing larger amounts of drugs could be the difference between possession and possession with intent. When the overall weight of the drugs involved increases, the likelihood of the state pursuing trafficking charges increases as well. The exact amount of drugs that could trigger trafficking charges depends on certain factors. The schedule classification of the drugs matters. The law even addresses the purity of the substance in some cases. Both possession with intent to distribute and trafficking can lead to large fines and jail time.

Anyone who is facing serious drug charges in Georgia may need help responding to the allegations made by the state. Understanding how the state chooses what charges to bring may influence the defense strategy that someone utilizes in criminal court.