In 2017 the City of Atlanta attempted to change how people are treated when they are arrested for possession of marijuana. The new information about the new law in Atlanta was handed down by various news media outlets (such as Atlanta Weed, Fortune and Atlanta Magazine). Other sites supporting legalization of weed ran large headlines stating that “there is no more jail time,” or that “the fine is only $75” or that “Atlanta officers will follow city ordinance for citations only.” Other reporting media sources (such as FOX and CBE) were more reserved about the possible outcomes and other potential consequences of a Marijuana charge in the City of Atlanta, and rightfully so.
First of all how the officer treats and charges you with the possession when it involves less than an ounce is entirely up to the officer himself. You MUST keep in mind that regardless of how its termed Weed, blunt or marijuana the drug still has not been legalized with the new law, it was ONLY marginally decriminalized under the City of Atlanta ordinance. Marijuana is still illegal in the State of Georgia. The Georgia Code covering possession of less than an ounce (O.C.G.A. § 16-13-2) still makes possession illegal and subject to the larger fine and jail time. In order for the new Atlanta ordinance provision to apply, you must be charged under the city ordinance itself on your citation. If your citation has Possession less than an ounce (16-13-2) then you are being charged under the state statute and the city ordinance doesn't apply in your situation. This means that you are facing the harsher penalties!
What does all of this mean for your possession charges in the City of Atlanta? Again, it depends on how the officer treated your ticket/citation. The Atlanta Police Officers are not required to follow the city ordinance only, they CAN write, and nothing prevents them from writing, your citation under state statute for Possession of less than an ounce (under O.C.G.A. 16-13-2).
There is also a misconception that if "I was not arrested I must be charged under the city ordinance," which isn't necessarily true either. If the officer charged you under the state statute and didn't arrest you, the Solicitor can resolve that issue by fingerprinting you once you are convicted at court OR can even have you fingerprinted when you appear in court for the first time on the charges.
Don't take a chance with your charge. For a free consultation and evaluation of your Possession of Marijuana charges call our firm so you can mount a proper Defense for YOUR charges. Our Lawyers have the knowledge and skills YOU need for your defense.
Just because you have been charged with Possession of Marijuana in the City of Atlanta does not mean that you have to accept guilt, it means you need to hire a experienced attorney to mount a proper defense for your charges.
Our offices have a 24 hour response line (404-445-8494) and someone is available to answer your call and help. Call us now for a free case evaluation.