Every day scores of people across Georgia get arrested for possessing some type of illegal drug. So what are your options if you are guilty of possessing something and you don’t have a good defense (i.e. you don’t have a viable basis for a Motion to Suppress).
PLEAD GUILTY BUT WITH NO CONVICTION ON YOUR RECORD
One excellent option is to enter a plea of guilty under O.G.G.A. §16-13-2. This code section allows a defendant who has never before been convicted of a drug offense to plead guilty to the charge but ultimately end up without a conviction on his/her record. Known as the Conditional Discharge Statute, the law allows the Judge to sentence the defendant to probation (not to exceed three years) without entering a judgment of guilt. If the defendant completes the probated sentence without violating it, the Court will ‘discharge’ the person and enter a dismissal of the case. The defendant will be treated as if there is no conviction on his/her record. Interestingly, this code section can apply to charges other than drug possession if the charge is related to a drug problem. The offense, however, must be non-violent in nature. Theft charges related to drug habits are prime offenses for this statute.
If you have questions relating to the Conditional Discharge statute, a drug offense or need a free consultation regarding an arrest, please contact me at 404-474-2531.