Although many people have only discovered Fentanyl within the last few years, it is quickly proving to be one of the most dangerous drugs in the world. The United States government is acting accordingly, and various lawmakers have started to enact strict penalties for those in possession of Fentanyl.
The current administration has announced an opioid epidemic, and Fentanyl is at the heart of this fatal problem. Tens of thousands of people overdose each year from Fentanyl use in the United States. In 2017 alone, 70,000 died from Fentanyl overdoses. Georgia is among the top 11 states with the most opioid overdose deaths.
If you have been charged with Fentanyl possession, it is important to understand the legislation that surrounds this drug. Georgia has taken a more serious stance with this drug in recent years, in keeping with the Federal government’s actions and the life-and-death nature of the opioid epidemic. By learning more about how Fentanyl possession is handled in Georgia, you can plan your next steps and aim for the best possible legal outcome.
All Fentanyl Analogues are Illegal
In 2018, the Drug Enforcement Agency made all Fentanyl analogues illegal. While Fentanyl was previously illegal, Fentanyl analogues were not. These Fentanyl analogues are almost identical to Fentanyl, but they have been chemically altered in a lab. Previously, pharmaceutical companies could make a few chemical alterations to the structure of Fentanyl to create a new drug (an analogue) that is technically no longer illegal. The DEA was able to put a stop to this when they banned all Fentanyl analogues.
Penalties for Schedule II Drug Possession
All Fentanyl analogues are categorized as Schedule II Controlled Substances. Fentanyl is considered a Schedule II CDS because there is a high potential for abuse and dependency. As such, possession of Fentanyl in the state of Georgia can come with a range of penalties:
- First Time Offense: If it is your first time being charged with possession of a Schedule II CDS, you face a felony. Punishment ranges from two to 15 years in prison.
- Subsequent Offenses: If it is not your first time being charged with a Schedule II CDS, you face a felony and prison time between five and 15 years.
Your Legal Options
Getting legal help from a qualified attorney is extremely important in this situation. Your attorney may be able to help you get a significantly reduced sentence. There are a number of positive outcomes that you can work towards with your attorney:
- Reduced to a Misdemeanor: If you have been sentenced to less than 10 years in prison for possession of Fentanyl, the court may choose to classify your felony conviction as a misdemeanor instead.
- Conditional Discharge: If it is your first time being charged with Fentanyl possession, the court may impose a period of probation instead of more serious penalties. You will most likely be required to attend a drug treatment program. As long as you stick to the requirements of your probation, your guilty charge will eventually be dismissed.
Getting Legal Help
Fentanyl possession is a serious crime. If you wish to achieve a positive legal outcome, reach out to Lankford & Moore Law today and get help from a legal expert with experience in these matters.