Today in Georgia, Misdemeanor Marijuana possession is still illegal. If you are caught with less than one ounce of marijuana, it is a misdemeanor punishable by up to 12 months in jail and a 1,000.00 fine. In addition, if you are charged prior to July 1, 2015, your driver’s license WILL be suspended. The Cobb County Solicitor’s Office has programs available to some people who are charged with this crime that not only will avoid a conviction but may also save your driver’s license.

John Rife is experienced in pretrial motions to suppress. The Constitutions of the United States of America and Georgia both give its citizens protections against illegal search and seizure. We know the standards law enforcement must meet to justify a search of your car or home for marijuana. If appropriate, we will file a motion to suppress that, if granted, would throw out the evidence of the search and probably result in a dismissal in your marijuana case.

Even if the police have met the standards for a search and seizure, the prosecution then has to establish possession of the marijuana in your case. Possession of marijuana can be established either through actual or constructive possession. Just you being near the marijuana is not good enough for the State to establish possession! We know effective criminal defense techniques for stopping the State from showing that a criminal defendant possessed the marijuana in question.

One way the police will try to establish possession is by getting you, the criminal defendant, to make statements that the marijuana was in your possession. However, you have the right to remain silent and if you were not informed of that right by police through the officer reading you the warnings established by the United States Supreme Court in Miranda v. Arizona, statements you made could be suppressed prior to trial. This would weaken the State’s case that a criminal defendant possessed the marijuana. We know the proper pretrial suppression of statement motions to file and how to effectively present them in a courtroom.

While most people may not look at a “pot conviction” as no big deal, the conviction of ANY drug offense can keep someone from getting a good job, college scholarships and other opportunities. There may be ways to get the charges diverted and ways to keep your driver’s license. Don’t wait until it is too late. Let us help you now!