Georgia has strict laws that govern drug possession and distribution, but what happens if you cross state lines with illegal drugs in the Peach State? The exact penalties and legal consequences can be confusing at this point because it is difficult to figure out who has jurisdiction. Is Georgia responsible for upholding the law, or is the other state involved in the border crossing? What about federal law? Things can be even more puzzling when you are moving across states that each have their own approach to things like the legality of marijuana.
If you have been charged with transporting drugs over state lines in Georgia, it is important to seek reliable legal assistance as soon as possible. You may be facing serious charges, including felonies. With an experienced, qualified attorney by your side, you can mitigate any potential legal consequences and avoid serious penalties.
Moving Across State Borders With Drugs is Always a Federal Crime
First of all, it is important to understand that as soon as you transport drugs over state lines, you are breaking federal law. It does not matter what a specific state’s laws say about marijuana or any other drug. These offenses are always handled in a federal court, and Georgia’s own unique laws simply will not come into the equation. Upon a guilty conviction, you will be sentenced to prison in a federal penitentiary – and not a state facility. Federal laws come into play whenever you do the following:
- Bring drugs into Georgia from another state
- Take drugs out of Georgia into another state
- Driving through Georgia with drugs from one state to another
- Taking drugs from a US state into another country (like Canada or Mexico)
Remember, marijuana is always illegal at the federal level. This means that when you cross state borders with marijuana, you will not be protected by any of your home state’s unique legislation that pertains to the legalization of this narcotic.
Penalties for Taking Drugs Across State Lines
The penalties for transporting drugs across state lines vary greatly. It depends on a number of factors, including the amount of drugs that you are transporting and the type of drug with which you are caught. For example, a small amount of marijuana may only result in a federal drug possession charge. This offense can still be a felony, but the penalties are less severe compared to drug trafficking charges.
You would need to transport a relatively large amount of marijuana across state lines to be charged with a federal trafficking felony. However, this also depends on the type of drug you are carrying. Even a small amount of LSD or psilocybin can result in trafficking charges because it meets the federal threshold set forth in US Code 841. Even if you are not planning to distribute these drugs, you could face a minimum prison sentence of 10 years.
Getting Legal Help
Hiring a qualified attorney is essential if you want to avoid the worst legal consequences associated with these crimes. Reach out to Lankford & Moore Law today, and we will fight for your rights.