How does Georgia penalize methamphetamine offenses?

Methamphetamines represent one of the most significant substance use issues in Georgia. According to a report in the Augusta Chronicle, meth has been the state’s most commonly used drug since 2012, with an increase in both overdose fatalities and methamphetamine-related arrests over the past decade.

Learn more about the potential penalties for selling and trafficking meth in Georgia.

Selling methamphetamine

Possession of less than 28 g of methamphetamine with intent to sell is a felony that carries significant prison time in Georgia. A convicted individual will receive five to 30 years in prison for the first offense or 10 to 40 years for the second offense. Subsequent offenses could result in a life sentence.

The offender could also receive increased penalties for selling methamphetamine within 1,000 feet of a designated drug-free zone, public housing project, public park or school. This crime carries a fine of up to $20,000 and up to 20 years in prison for the first offense and a doubled fine and five to 40 years in prison for the second offense. These elevated penalties also apply to charges of selling methamphetamine to a minor.

Trafficking methamphetamine

The state elevates a sales charge to trafficking if the offender had more than 28 g of methamphetamine at the time of the arrest. This crime carries a mandatory minimum prison sentence of 10 years and a fine of up to $40,000. For 200 to 400 g, the mandatory minimum prison sentence is 15 years, along with fines of up to $350,000. Trafficking more than 400 g of methamphetamine results in a minimum 25-year prison sentence and fines of up to $1 million.

Georgia categorizes meth as a Schedule II controlled substance. Other Schedule II drugs that carry similar penalties for conviction include methadone, opium, morphine, crack and cocaine. In addition to the penalties above, all drug-related crimes in Georgia result in a 12-month license suspension for the first offense.