Perhaps, you were merely in the wrong place at the wrong time. Or, maybe you made certain choices that, if given the chance to go back in time, you wouldn't make again. These and other situations often lead to trouble with the law regarding illicit drug activities in Georgia. A deeper look into the current federal prison system and better understanding of your options, if you have already been charged with a drug crime, may help you determine how best to proceed in your particular situation.
Those most at risk for going to prison for drug crimes
Did you know that the federal prison population has increased approximately 800 percent over the past two-plus decades? Currently, there are about 200,000 people serving time in federal prisons. Also, approximately 50 percent of those in prison are there because they were convicted of drug-related crimes. Following are statistics pertaining to the drug-related population in federal prisons:
- Most are males
- More than 75 percent are people of color
- Approximately one quarter of federal prison inmates are non-U.S. citizens
According to data from the Urban Institute, if you fit one or more of these categories, you may be at risk for becoming involved in federal drug crime situations. Of course, merely being male, or part of a race that is non-Caucasian, does not mean you sell or use illegal drugs of any sort; however, these identifying factors are common among those doing time for drug crimes in federal prisons today.
Charges often include some drugs more than others
Most of the federal drug-related convictions had to do with trafficking. And, while your personal criminal history may be clear of any prior drug arrests, you may be interested to know that the drugs listed below are among those most frequently mentioned in repeat or first offenses:
- Crack cocaine: Analysis of approximately 93,000 federal drug offenders shows this to be the number one drug related to situations where convictions were handed down.
- Methamphetamine: Nearly 24 percent of cases analyzed involved this synthetic drug.
- Powder cocaine: Approximately 24,000 of the situations reviewed included this strong stimulant, frequently referred to as a "recreational" drug.
Marijuana, heroin and other drugs ranked substantially lower than those listed above as substances most often connected to charges of federal drug crimes. If you have been accused of or charged for possession, manufacturing or trafficking of these or other drugs, you may be wondering how best to proceed to build a strong defense.
Strategies often employed against drug charges
No two situations are exactly alike; therefore, if you're trying to determine how best to defend yourself against drug charges in Georgia, you may want to consult with an experienced advocate who can offer clarification of current drug laws and help you explore any options that might be available in your particular circumstances. This type of consultation may help determine if one of the following defense strategies aligns with your needs:
- Alibi: Evidence that you were in another location from the alleged scene at the time the crime supposedly took place
- Witness testimony: A solemn statement made by another party that supports your defense
- Challenge against prosecution: Requesting that charges be dismissed if your personal rights were violated during any search and seizure or arrest process that took place, or requesting that certain evidence be deemed inadmissible in court due to the means by which it was obtained.
It is understandable that you wish to minimize any potential negative effects that drug-related charges may have on your future. Arming yourself with as much information as possible and acting alongside skilled and aggressive defense assistance may be your best chance of achieving a positive outcome.