Cherokee County Sheriff’s deputies were not looking for Carlos Suarez-Diaz when they visited his home, but what they found was nearly 300 marijuana plants with a street value of over $1 million. Deputies say that Suarez-Diaz fled the home and led officers on a chase through multiple backyards. Officers finally apprehended Suarez-Diaz and took him to the Cherokee County Adult Detention Center. They believe he was shipping the marijuana out of state. He received multiple charges, including marijuana trafficking.
What is Marijuana Trafficking?
Marijuana trafficking is more than simply transporting or selling drugs. To be convicted of marijuana trafficking you can be manufacturing, selling, transporting, or distributing marijuana. Marijuana trafficking is a criminal charge and carries its own penalties depending on the amount of marijuana possessed.
Sometimes, depending on the circumstances, a person may receive additional drug related convictions in addition to marijuana trafficking. A person may face substantial time in jail if convicted of other drug charges along with charges of marijuana trafficking. In Georgia, a person faces marijuana trafficking charges if he or she possesses 10 or more grams of marijuana.
Georgia Penalties for Marijuana Trafficking
The penalties for marijuana trafficking in Georgia depend on the amount of marijuana in possession at the time of arrest. The penalties include the following:
- Between 10 and 2,000 pounds: This conviction carries a mandatory minimum prison sentence of five years and a fine of $100,000. Prison time can be up to 30 years.
- Between 2,000 and 10,000 pounds: This conviction carries a mandatory minimum prison sentence of seven years and a fine of $250,000. Prison time may be up to 30 years.
- 10,000 pounds or more: This conviction carries a mandatory minimum prison sentence of at least 15 years and a fine of $1,000,000. Prison time may be up to 30 years.
Prison sentences and fines are not the only penalties for marijuana trafficking. Because it is a felony charge, you may lose opportunities for employment. Additionally, you may not be able to live where you want, apply for loans, attend college, or own a firearm.
Facing a mandatory prison sentence for marijuana trafficking makes this type of drug offense very serious. Therefore, you need an experienced drug defense attorney to make sure your rights are protected and you receive a fair trial.
How a Criminal Defense Attorney Can Help
In some situations, there may be defenses to marijuana trafficking charges in Georgia. An experienced criminal attorney will be able to advise you if there are any defenses available for your particular case. These defenses may include obtaining evidence illegally, not being the leader of the activity, the amount found was incorrect, or innocence.
The attorneys at Lankford & Moore Law have experience handling a variety of criminal cases, including marijuana trafficking, and will therefore be able to craft the best possible defense strategy for your case. Contact them today to schedule a consultation.