Dawsonville, GA asked in Criminal Law for Georgia

Q: If with a citation and listed mandatory court date, will I be sentenced to a mandatory minimum of jail time?

I got a citation for Possession and use of a drug related object. I went to a website which states that I cannot pay online due to the mandatory court date. Upon further online research, I see a few sources stating that it is a misdemeanor punishable by a fine of no more then $1000 AND 1-5 years in jail. Others say AND/OR. I have no prior offenses, but I was also issued a citation for creating a hazardous condition for smoking marijuana at the same time. I am 19, and would love to hear any advice about how to handle this and possibly do it without my family knowing. Thank you.

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1 Lawyer Answer
Zachary Taylor Beck
Zachary Taylor Beck
  • Criminal Law Lawyer
  • Rome, GA
  • Licensed in Georgia

A: With the charges listed above, and no prior criminal history, there is no statutorily mandated minimum jail sentence that you would have to serve in confinement. However, judges have wide discretion in sentencing someone to jail (i.e., confinement), probation, fine(s), community service, treatment programs, etc., or a combination of the above.

You may have defenses that an experienced criminal lawyer could raise, which could get some or all of the charges dismissed or get the prosecutor to offer a favorable plea deal. Further, even if you were to plead guilty to the above charges, without accepting a negotiated plea deal from the prosecutor, a lawyer could argue mitigating factors at sentencing, which could persuade the judge to issue a more lenient sentence. Mitigating factors include your employment, school, ties to the community, criminal history, seriousness of the offense(s), accepting responsibility, etc. However, again, an experienced criminal lawyer knows how to argue these factors to the judge to get the most favorable sentence. Thus, your best bet is to consult an attorney.

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