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Drug related convictions don’t require possession of drugs

On Behalf of | Jan 7, 2022 | Criminal Defense |

No one wants to be accused of committing a crime, especially a drug crime. The conviction itself can be terrifying – will I go to jail? Will I have to pay an exorbitant fine? And there’s a stigma that can come along with a conviction which can affect employment and other areas of your life. Many people don’t realize there are drug crimes you can be arrested for that don’t even require drugs.

Drug related objects

Georgia takes drug crimes very seriously. Not only are controlled substances themselves illegal, but so too are items associated with them. Drug related objects, found in Georgia Code Section 16-13-32.2, covers a wide range of things. Anything which is intended to be used for drugs – from cultivating or manufacturing them to packaging or ingesting them – can be considered a drug related object and therefore illegal to possess.

Even the concept of possessing a drug related object is tricky. You do not have to actually have the item on your person; instead, it is enough that you exercised dominion and control over it. It’s also not necessary for law enforcement to find drugs themselves. If there’s sufficient evidence to prove the object was intended to be used illegally, that’s enough.

With these thoughts in mind, it’s easy to see how a charge of possessing a drug related object can be completely wrong. Since everyday items can be used for many aspects of a controlled substance, from creation to use, it’s also easy to incorrectly conclude that something was intended to be used for such a purpose. The fact is that law enforcement sometimes gets it wrong and draws the wrong conclusion. It’s not enough for them to think someone would use an object illegally – it must be proven they actually intended to do so. With a sound defense strategy, that’s a much bigger hill to climb.