Drug possession charges can be devastating for you and your future. Kilgore & Rodriguez have a successful track record of getting evidence suppressed, drug charges dismissed, and keeping clients out of jail.
Our Philosophy Regarding Drug Cases
Our priority in drug cases never changes – get the evidence excluded, get the case dismissed, and keep our clients out of jail. Marietta-based drug crime defense attorneys Maddox Kilgore and Carlos Rodriguez have decades of experience getting evidence suppressed and having drug charges dismissed.
Our first line of attack in Georgia drug cases is to challenge the admissibility of evidence to be used against our clients. The Fourth Amendment protects all Americans from unlawful search and seizure. Did the police violate the defendant’s constitutional rights in the way his person or property was searched, or in how the contraband was seized? If so, it can’t be used in court. Evidence of marijuana or other drugs can be thrown out — if it was discovered or seized from a person, vehicle, home, hotel room, purse, or cell phone in a way that violated a defendant’s constitutional rights. No evidence = NOT GUILTY.
Even if there is no basis which requires that the evidence be suppressed, skilled drug crime attorneys can help you achieve a better outcome in court. The burden of proof is on the State to show that you willingly broke the law, and there are many possible factual or legal defenses to challenge drug possession criminal charges in Georgia:
Did others have equal access to drugs found in the car or residence?
Is the evidence of possession mere spatial proximity?
Is there a legal presumption that contraband belonged to someone else?
Were the drugs found in someone else’s clothing, car, or apartment?
Was the defendant merely present in the vehicle or room when drugs were found?
Can the State prove that seized material is actually contraband?
Can the State prove you were the person in the video?
Did police obtain reliable information from an anonymous source or confidential informant?
Can the State prove you had knowledge that drugs were present or had intent to possess or distribute?
Does the defendant have a lawful prescription?
Are drug treatment options a viable alternative?
If you or someone close to you has been arrested for drug charges, you should consult an experienced drug crimes attorney immediately to explore options available to preserve your freedom. Marietta criminal defense lawyers Maddox Kilgore and Carlos Rodriguez can help.
Drug Possession Charges
In Georgia, laws prohibiting the possession, sale, or intent to distribute marijuana and certain other drugs are codified as the Georgia Controlled Substances Act. The law categorizes drugs into five “schedules”. Schedule I drugs have a high potential for abuse and have no currently accepted medical use, which include heroin, LSD, and MDMA (ecstasy). OCGA 16-13-25. Schedule II drugs have a high potential for abuse and dependence, but may have some recognized medical use under severe restriction, such as opium, cocaine, methamphetamine, oxycodone (Percocet) and hydrocodone (Vicodin, Lortab). OCGA 16-13-26. Schedules III, IV and V, include a wide range of drugs with a lower potential abuse and may be possessed when lawfully prescribed, such as Ketamine, Alprazolam (Xanax), Clonazepam, Diazepam (Valium) and Carisoprodol (Soma) OCGA § 16-13-27, 16-13-28, 16-13-29. Georgia law still prohibits the possession of any amount of marijuana (even residue in a pipe). Unlike possession of the leafy part of marijuana plants, THC cartridges for vaping are treated as a felony violation of a Schedule I drug.
So what is possession? The law recognizes two kinds of possession: actual possession and constructive possession. A person who knowingly has direct physical control over a thing at a given time is in actual possession of it. For instance, if cocaine is found in your pants pocket...that’s evidence of actual possession. Or, if a person does not physically possess it but knowingly has both the power and the intention to exercise authority or control over the drugs, then he has constructive possession of it.
The penalties for drug convictions in Georgia can be severe:
Possession of one ounce or less of marijuana: misdemeanor (up to 12 months in jail)
Possession of greater than one ounce of marijuana: felony (up to ten years in state prison)
Sale or possession with intent to distribute of marijuana: felony (up to ten years in prison)
Trafficking (possession of 10 pounds or more of marijuana, but less than 2,000 pounds): felony (5 to 30 years in prison)
Possession of cocaine, methamphetamine, hydrocodone, oxycodone: felony (2 to 30 years in prison)
Sale or intent to distribute any amount of cocaine, methamphetamine, hydrocodone, oxycodone: felony (5 years to life in prison)
Trafficking (28 grams or more of cocaine or methamphetamine): felony (10 to 30 years in prison)
Your property (money, vehicles) can be seized by the government if connected to the unlawful possession or sale of drugs!
Minor in Possession Drug Charges
A minor in possession of alcohol or drugs in Georgia is subject to the same laws as an adult, and Georgia drug laws — including marijuana laws — are among the strictest in the nation. Possession of more than an ounce of marijuana is a felony punishable by a prison sentence of up to 10 years. A first offense for possession of a Schedule I or II drug – including heroin, ecstasy, and LSD – can carry a potential prison sentence of 2-15 years.
If your minor child has been arrested for drug possession, you should retain a skilled drug defense attorney as soon as possible. Young people are typically not familiar with the justice system and may make mistakes in dealing with the police that make a conviction for a minor drug possession offense more likely. Maddox Kilgore and Carlos Rodriguez have expert knowledge of the Georgia courts and a long record of success as advocates for minors facing drug possession charges.
A criminal conviction can be devastating for a teenager and their family. A criminal record makes it harder to get into college, find a job, rent an apartment, and build a credit history – all the things a young person needs to do to successfully transition to adulthood. Additionally, all Hope Scholarship recipients in Georgia must comply with the Georgia Drug Free Postsecondary Education Act, which means your child could lose their scholarship if convicted of a felony drug offense.
A skilled drug offense lawyer may be able to prevent a conviction. If it is a first offense for possession, courts are generally open to the possibility of alternatives to prosecution, such as diversion or accountability courts, which could allow for dismissal of charges. First Offender programs, if strictly complied with, provide an opportunity to have drug convictions removed from a minor’s criminal record.
Drug & Marijuana Case Results
Following routine traffic stop, client’s vehicle was searched by police and pills located in the center glove box which did not belong to him. After investigation K&R obtained proof that the pills did not belong to client and that client had not knowingly possessed them. Evidence was presented to the District Attorney, who dismissed the charges before case ever presented to a grand jury.
- Gilmer County, 2019
Following a noise complaint at Cobb County motel room, police brutally assaulted innocent woman on walkway before making an unlawful forced entry into the motel room. Kilgore and Rodriguez obtained evidence proving the police search of room was illegal and the obstruction arrest was false. When the police misconduct challenged in court, all charges dismissed.
- Cobb County, 2018
Man visiting family from out of state gets lost driving through Marietta and was confronted by police because they thought he was suspicious. Police searched through his pockets without valid consent and discovered narcotics. K&R challenged the search in court and the judge threw out the narcotics evidence because police officer violated client’s constitutional rights.
- Cobb County, 2017
Young lady falsely arrested for possessing and manufacturing a Schedule I Controlled Substance. Investigation by K&R established that the drugs actually belonged to her former boyfriend. Young lady was able to keep her job, keep her home, and walk away completely exonerated.
- Cherokee County, 2017
What Our Clients Are Saying
“I could have lost my home, my job and everything that goes with it. I met with a few lawyers and chose Kilgore & Rodriguez after meeting with Carlos Rodriguez. I had never been arrested before. After meeting with these two attorneys I was assured I would be pleased with the outcome if I would follow their counsel… Now it's over and I write this not only to thank them but to let it be known these are serious men who did what they said they would do and took very good care of me.” — Client