Drugs and illegal substances are classified into different schedules under Georgia law. While substances that are considered extremely likely to be abused and do not have medical purposes are considered Schedule I drugs, substances that may be used to treat medical conditions and have low risks for abuse are considered Schedule V drugs. Three other categories exist between these two.

Depending upon the schedule of drug a person is accused of possessing and the amount they allegedly have, their penalties could vary. For example, a conviction based on the possession of a Schedule I drug may result in a prison sentence of up to 30 years for a repeat offender, while conviction of possession of a Schedule V substance may yield a one to five-year prison sentence.

Marijuana is treated differently under the law, in that possession of it may be a misdemeanor or a felony. This distinction is made based on the amount of marijuana the person is alleged to possess and the penalties for possessing marijuana can vary significantly.

In Georgia, people convicted of drug possession face one more penalty: the loss of their driving privileges. A person can face a six month drivers license suspension for their first conviction, but that length of time may stretch to years if they are convicted of subsequent drug offenses.

Individuals can defend themselves against drug possession charges and do not have to do so on their own. Defense attorneys can help those accused prepare their case and protect their rights.