Georgia heroin laws and penalties

On Behalf of | May 18, 2022 | Drug crimes

Heroin is a drug made from the leaves of the opium poppy plant. Since it is dangerous, controlled substance laws make it illegal. A person in Georgia may face several penalties for possession, manufacturing, buying, or selling it.

Overview of Georgia heroin laws

Georgia controlled substances laws divide drug charges according to Schedules I to IV ranked by addiction potential and medical use. Heroin is listed under Schedule I because they are the most addictive substances with no approved medical use.

Schedule II substances, such as morphine and codeine, are still dangerous, but they have limited medical use. Schedules III and IV are the least addictive and include many prescription drugs, such as ketamine, antidiuretics, and steroids.

The reason there are strict laws on heroin is the strain on hospitals, and users may resort to theft to support the habit. Another danger of heroin use is it often gets injected, which has the risk of spreading diseases.

Penalties

A first possession offense of any amount of heroin comes with a penalty of two to 15 years of jail. A person can still get charged even if they don’t have it on them as long as they have control. Possession with intent to distribute carries up to a 30-year jail term, or more if caught within 1,000 feet of a drug-free zone.

Selling heroin includes a penalty of a five to 30-year jail term, and second offenders may face life in jail. Trafficking four to 14 grams includes a five-year jail term and up to a $50,000 fine and increases based on substance amounts.

Drug charges may also result in penalties of asset forfeiture and license suspension. However, some offenders could qualify for alternative sentencing.