Drug Production Charges in Gwinnett County
In Georgia, the drug laws are amongst the most severe in the U.S.
Drug production (manufacturing) is a felony offense, with sentences that are much harsher than the penalties for drug possession.
To arrest and charge you for drug production, the police must find you in possession of an illegal substance (on your person, at your residence or in your vehicle) as well as the equipment used to manufacture it.
Regardless of how compelling the evidence against you seems, we will explore multiple possible defenses to contest the charge and prevent potentially life-changing consequences for you.
If you are facing drug production charges in Gwinnett County, seek immediate legal assistance from the Law Office of Adam D. Brown to begin your defense.
What are the drug manufacturing laws in Georgia?
Drug manufacturing is the cultivation or production of an illegal or controlled substance.
To be charged for this offense, you do need to be found in possession of a large quantity of a controlled substance and manufacturing/cultivation equipment.
Section 16 Chapter 13 of the Georgia Code details the offences and penalties associated with the production of controlled substances.
It is important to note that these laws also cover imitation controlled substances and certain non-controlled substances that may be used in the manufacture of illicit drugs.
You should be aware that you can possess a substance purchased lawfully from a local store and still be found guilty of drug manufacturing. That is, if the prosecution is able to prove that you purchased the substance with the intent to manufacture prohibited drugs.
Drug manufacturing statutes in the Georgia Code
- Georgia Code Section § 16-13-30: prohibits the manufacture of any controlled substance with intent to distribute
- Georgia Code Section § 16-13-30.1: prohibits the manufacture of certain non-controlled substances with intent to distribute
- Georgia Code Section § 16-13-30.2: prohibits the manufacture of imitation controlled substances with intent to distribute
- Georgia Code Section § 16-13-30.5: prohibits the possession of any substance with the intent to manufacture a Schedule I or II controlled substance
- Georgia Code Section § 16-13-31: lists the penalties for the manufacture of specific drugs
- Georgia Code Sections § 16-13-25 to 16-13-29: lists the Schedules I – V substances
Are there minimum sentences for drug production?
Yes, harsh minimum sentences generally apply in drug production cases in Georgia: between five- and 25-years’ jail time plus extensive fines.
According to the aforementioned statutes, the severity of the sentence will depend on:
- The type of drug manufactured
- The amount of the drug manufactured
Generally, controlled substances are referred to as Schedule I – V substances, with Schedule I and II drugs carrying the most severe penalties.
Examples of minimum sentences include:
- Cocaine (purity of at least 10%)
- 28g – 200g: 10 years in prison and a fine of $200,000
- 200g – 400g: 15 years in prison and a fine of $300,000
- Over 400g: 25 years in prison and a fine of $1 million
- 4g – 14g: 5 years in prison and a fine of $50,000
- 14g – 28g: 10 years in prison and a fine of $100,000
- Over 28g: 25 years in prison and a fine of $500,000
- 10lbs – 2,000lbs: 5 years and a fine of $100,000
- 2,000lbs – 10,000lbs: 7 years and a fine of $250,000
- Over 10,000lbs: 15 years and a fine of $1 million
- 200g – 400g: 5 years and a fine of $50,000
- Over 400g: 15 years and a fine of $250,000
- Under 200g: 10 years and a fine of $200,000
- 200g – 400g: 15 years and a fine of $300,000
- Over 400g: 25 years and a fine of $1 million
There is generally little leeway for discretion from the Judges with these mandatory minimum sentences for drug production.
However, we may be able to convince the judge to consider a more lenient sentence if:
- You have a relatively clean criminal record;
- You played a minor role in the drug manufacturing operation;
- You possess no dangerous weapons;
- You caused no serious bodily injuries (or deaths)
- Your minimum sentence will not be in the interests of justice
Your minimum sentence can also be reduced if the District Attorney files a motion requesting it. This may apply if you have provided substantial assistance to law enforcement in the identification, arrest, or conviction of other individuals.
Which drug manufacturing defenses are the most common?
The conviction rate for drug offenses in Georgia is high. However, regardless of the evidence against you, you are innocent until proven guilty and entitled to a defense.
In drug manufacturing cases, the burden of proof is generally high. Additionally, law enforcement frequently makes mistakes in gathering evidence.
The most common defenses generally include:
- Unlawful search and seizure: unless the actions of law enforcement respected your constitutional right to be free from unreasonable searches and seizures, evidence may be deemed inadmissible in court. This frequently leads to case dismissal.
- Breach of rights: you have other rights when arrested, such as the right to remain silent (Miranda Rights) which must be read to you. If this right was breached, the statements you made when arrested may be inadmissible.
- Lack of possession: the drugs in your possession did not belong to you but to someone else.
- Lack of intent to distribute: your possession of drugs was justified (for instance, because you confiscated them to keep them from a known drug user).
- Mental incapacity: your actions were due to a mental disorder or some other form of mental impairment.
- A mistake of fact: you did not know what the possessed substances were or thought they were something else.
Note that nobody under the age of 13 in Georgia can be charged with drug production (or any other crime).
How will Adam D. Brown defend a charge of drug manufacturing?
Adam D. Brown will examine the evidence against you in fine detail and look for possible defenses that can be used in your case.
He will look for weaknesses in the prosecution’s case that can present opportunities either for case dismissal or downgrading of charges.
For instance, felony drug convictions with sentences of 10 years or less may be reduced to a misdemeanor, upon approval of the court.
If the case goes to trial, Adam D. Brown will present a vigorous defense and look to secure an acquittal or a reduction in the severity of the consequences you face.
Alternative sentencing options may be possible for first-time offenders, notwithstanding the mandatory minimum sentences that apply for drug manufacturing.
Does Adam D. Brown defend charges of drug possession?
In some cases, drug possession even for personal consumption can carry a longer prison sentence than murder or rape in Georgia.
This demonstrates how severely drug charges are dealt with and why you need an experienced attorney for any drug charge, even if you are caught with a tiny amount of an illicit or controlled substance.
The police have wide powers to stop, search and test individuals for drugs in Georgia and if you find yourself on the wrong side of the law, the consequences can be life-changing.
Contact the Law Office of Adam D. Brown, LLC Today
If you have been charged with drug production, speak to Adam D. Brown.
After evaluating the details of your case, we will advise you of the best legal strategy and walk you through the process. Call (404) 418-6395 for a free case evaluation.