Articles Posted in Drug Charges

The “Safety Valve” exception is a statutory exception to mandatory minimum sentencing laws. A safety valve allows a judge to sentence a person below the mandatory minimum term if certain conditions are met.  The “Safety Valve” provision is a provision of law codified in 18 United States Code §3553(f).  It specifically allows a judge to sentence below the minimum mandatory required by law.  However, you must be eligible.  There is also a two level reduction in the sentencing guidelines under United States Sentencing Guidelines §2D1.1(b)(17).

The requirements set out in 18 U.S.C. §3553(f) are:
  • You do not have more than 1 criminal history point. 

Public attitudes towards marijuana in Georgia are becoming far more relaxed, especially as other states, such as Colorado and California, begin legalizing recreational use of the drug. However, while Georgians may no longer think that offenders of marijuana crimes deserve the heavy handed sentences they have been subject to for decades, the fact remains that state law concerning marijuana remains very tough. While it can be easy to think that marijuana is no longer a “big deal,” the penalties that offenders face can still be surprisingly extreme.

Getting mixed messages?

Navigating what is legal and not legal concerning marijuana in Georgia can be difficult. As the Atlanta Journal-Constitution points out, while Georgia has made medical marijuana legal in the state, growing it or importing it remains illegal. As a result, people who grow even small amounts of the plant for their own medicinal purposes can find themselves suddenly facing accusation of drug dealing and years in prison.

When you think of drug crimes, you may picture college kids getting caught with marijuana, or dealers on the street corner with pockets full of methamphetamines. However, police sometimes charge respected professionals with drug crimes.

It has been a year since a high-profile opioid sting resulted in the federal prosecutors charging dozens of medical professionals with drug crimes. Most charges centered on prescribing opioids unnecessarily. Lately, an increasing number of health professionals are seeking treatment for using the substances themselves. If you are a doctor or nurse charged with a drug offense of any kind, you may have questions.

Should I talk to police?

Whether you have an illness, injury or medical disorder, modern medicine likely offers a few different ways to treat it. For many conditions, prescription drugs reduce symptoms or eliminate them altogether. Accordingly, if you need medication to improve your quality of life, seeing a physician is critical.

Doctors receive extensive training on diagnosing and treating medical conditions. They also understand how to check for drug interactions and allergies. As such, even if you think you know what prescription drugs to take, you should not take matters into your own hands. That is, not only may forging a prescription cause you physical harm, but it may also lead to serious criminal consequences.

Valid prescriptions must meet certain criteria

When people are charged with using, distributing or selling drugs in Georgia, the penalties for such behaviors can vary depending on the circumstances surrounding their case, as well as how badly their actions may have affected other people. Drug abuse is a prevalent epidemic and one that many experts believe can be prevented with education and awareness beginning at a young age. 

When people make active efforts to inform their children of the dangers of drugs before they are ever introduced to them, it can make a considerable difference in how they respond if they are faced with a situation where they are offered to partake in drug use of some kind. According to KidsHealth, one way that parents can discuss the dangers of drugs with their children is by discussing how significantly drug use can affect the growth, response and function of a person’s brain.

Particularly in young people, drug use can have a long-term impression on their mental health and stability. Parents can also share how these decisions may impose a threat to other parts of the body, detract from their child’s ability to focus in school or sports and their child’s ability to maintain healthy relationships with other people.  

The opioid crisis has rocked the nation over the past few years and Georgia is no exception. While many people view addicts as junkies who make bad decisions and abuse illegal drugs, this is not the case for all people with a substance abuse disorder. Some people were introduced to these medications via their doctor’s prescriptions, usually to treat pain. Because these are so addictive, it can quickly spiral into an out-of-control drug habit.

CNN estimates that 1.7 million individuals in America suffer from substance abuse problems related to the use or abuse of prescription medication with opioids. These include the following drugs:

  •          Hydrocodone

When people are taken into custody over a drug-related offense, there are many different factors to consider, some of which could have a major impact on the outcome of their case. Some people are falsely accused of a drug crime, while others may be able to secure a better outcome by shedding light on key details surrounding their case. Some people are apprehended for a drug offense due to an isolated incident, even though they do not regularly use or sell drugs, while others may struggle with long-term drug addiction. Moreover, some people are simultaneously dealing with drug charges and mental illness.

If you are facing drug charges and also have difficulty with a particular mental illness, it is important to assess the unique details that surround your circumstances and figure out the best way to handle your case. Moreover, if you have a loved one who is mentally ill and facing drug charges, it is important to help them understand their options and you may want to assist them throughout their case. Some people benefit from consulting a legal professional who has handled many drug cases and knows how certain details can shape the outcome of a case.

For someone who is struggling with mental illness, a drug-related arrest can be especially difficult and they may face additional difficulties down the road. Unfortunately, many people have found themselves in this position, and our law firm knows how difficult it can be for people who are going through these issues.

In recent years, many parts of the country have legalized the medical and/or recreational use of marijuana. For some people, these changes are seen as a major relief. However, people continue to be charged with drug-related offenses due to marijuana across the country, and these charges can be very serious. There are many reasons why someone may be charged with a drug crime even if marijuana is legal where they live. For example, they may travel to another state without realizing that it is illegal to possess this substance on the other side of the state’s border.

Even if someone realizes that marijuana is illegal in another part of the country, they may forget that they have a small amount of the drug in their car or in their backpack, for example. When a law enforcement official discovers marijuana, the individual may face serious charges. Even though many people consider this to be a relatively safe and harmless drug, the consequences of being charged with a drug offense can be extremely detrimental to one’s future and their life may be disrupted in all sorts of ways.

Because marijuana is legal in certain parts of the country and illegal in others, many people have run into this problem. Moreover, there may be some confusion regarding the legality of marijuana in certain areas. If you are facing drug charges due to marijuana possession or charges involving any other type of unlawful substance, it is pivotal to explore your legal options and realize what is at stake.

Many people who face drug charges in Atlanta also suffer from addiction issues. In addition to legal woes, addiction can hurt a person’s health, cause rifts between family members, and jeopardize employment. If you have a loved one who is suffering from addiction, your support is crucial during this time. To help you open an honest and trusting dialogue, Very Well Mind offers the following communication advice. 

First, realize that there’s no easy solution to drug addiction. It’s not usually a matter of will power, nor does it relate to a person’s ability to “pull themselves together”. In most instances, drug addiction is caused by numerous factors, including a person’s background, environment, and even genetics. Accordingly, it’s not helpful to admonish a person for not having their life together when addicted to drugs. Drug addiction is more like a medical problem, in the sense that formal treatment may be needed to allow your loved one to finally get clean. 

Next, refrain from making demands that the person quits cold turkey. With certain types of drugs, quitting cold turkey can actually have a number of detrimental effects. That’s why medically assisted detox is recommended for most serious drug addictions. Not only will this ensure a person’s health is monitored during the process, it will also prevent relapses, which are often caused by troubling withdrawal symptoms. When your loved one expresses a desire to get clean, offer your support and suggest a formal treatment program for the best results. 

People often have a myriad of questions when they are charged with a drug offense, and they may be uncertain about how the charges will impact their future and the different penalties they might face. For some people, these charges can be especially difficult because they have no idea how to bring this topic up with family members. For example, someone may be terrified of talking about this matter with their spouse, with their children or with their parents. In Atlanta and across Georgia, many people have had to face these challenges.

A young person living with his or her parents may be worried that they will be kicked out of the home, or that their parents will no longer pay for their college tuition. Or, someone may have concerns that their spouse will leave them as a result of the situation, or that their relationship with their parents will be permanently shattered. These are just a few of the reasons why drug charges can create conflict within a family, and it is crucial to approach this topic with caution.

First of all, every drug case is unique and someone who has been charged may be able to improve their circumstances by taking the right approach (which may also help them explain their situation to family members). It is pivotal to have a thorough understanding of what took place as well as any legal options that could be open to you and reflect on the allegations carefully before discussing the charges with loved ones.

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