Georgia Code Title 16. Crimes and Offenses § 16-13-31.1

(a) Any person who sells, manufactures, delivers, brings into this state, or has possession of 28 grams or more of 3, 4-methylenedioxyamphetamine or 3, 4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine, or any mixture containing 3, 4-methylenedioxyamphetamine or 3, 4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine as described in Schedule I, in violation of this article commits the felony offense of trafficking in 3, 4-methylenedioxyamphetamine or 3, 4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine and, upon conviction thereof, shall be punished as follows:

(1) If the quantity of such substance involved is 28 grams or more, but less than 200 grams, the person shall be sentenced to a mandatory minimum term of imprisonment of three years but not more than 30 years and shall pay a fine of not less than $25,000.00 nor more than $250,000.00;

(2) If the quantity of such substance involved is 200 grams or more, but less than 400 grams, the person shall be sentenced to a mandatory minimum term of imprisonment of five years but not more than 30 years and shall pay a fine of not less than $50,000.00 nor more than $250,000.00;  and

(3) If the quantity of such substance involved is 400 grams or more, the person shall be sentenced to a mandatory minimum term of imprisonment of ten years but not more than 30 years and shall pay a fine of not less than $100,000.00 nor more than $250,000.00.

(b)(1) In the court's discretion, the judge may depart from the mandatory minimum sentence specified for a person who is convicted of a violation of this Code section as set forth in paragraph (2) of this subsection if the judge concludes that:

(A) The defendant was not a leader of the criminal conduct;

(B) The defendant did not possess or use a firearm, dangerous weapon, or hazardous object during the crime;

(C) The criminal conduct did not result in a death or serious bodily injury to a person other than to a person who is a party to the crime;

(D) The defendant has no prior felony conviction;  and

(E) The interests of justice will not be served by the imposition of the prescribed mandatory minimum sentence.

(2) The sentencing departure ranges pursuant to paragraph (1) of this subsection shall be as follows:

(A) Any person convicted of violating paragraph (1) of subsection (a) of this Code section, one year and six months to 30 years imprisonment and a fine of not less than $12,500.00 nor more than $250,000.00;

(B) Any person convicted of violating paragraph (2) of subsection (a) of this Code section, two years and six months to 30 years imprisonment and a fine of not less than $25,000.00 nor more than $250,000.00;  and

(C) Any person convicted of violating paragraph (3) of subsection (a) of this Code section, five to 30 years imprisonment and a fine of not less than $50,000.00 nor more than $250,000.00;

(3) If a judge reduces the mandatory minimum sentence pursuant to this subsection, the judge shall specify on the record the circumstances for the reduction and the interests served by such departure.  Any such order shall be appealable by the State of Georgia pursuant to Code Section 5-7-1 .

(4) As used in this subsection, the term:

(A) “Dangerous weapon” shall have the same meaning as set forth in Code Section 16-11-121 .

(B) “Firearm” shall have the same meaning as set forth in Code Section 16-11-127.1 .

(C) “Hazardous object” shall have the same meaning as set forth in Code Section 20-2-751 .

(D) “Leader” means a person who planned and organized others and acted as a guiding force in order to achieve a common goal.

(c) The district attorney may move the sentencing court to impose a reduced or suspended sentence upon any person who is convicted of a violation of this Code section who provides substantial assistance in the identification, arrest, or conviction of any of his or her accomplices, accessories, coconspirators, or principals.  Upon good cause shown, the motion may be filed and heard in camera.  The judge hearing the motion may impose a reduced or suspended sentence if he or she finds that the defendant has rendered such substantial assistance.

(d) In the court's discretion, the judge may depart from the mandatory minimum sentence specified in this Code section for a person who is convicted of a violation of this Code section when the prosecuting attorney and the defendant have agreed to a sentence that is below such mandatory minimum.

(e) Notwithstanding Code Section 16-13-2 , any sentence imposed pursuant to subsection (b) of this Code section shall not be reduced by any earned time, early release, work release, leave, or other sentence-reducing measures under programs administered by the Department of Corrections, the effect of which would be to reduce the period of incarceration ordered by the sentencing court or any form of pardon, parole, or commutation of sentence by the State Board of Pardons and Paroles;  provided, however, that during the final year of incarceration, a defendant so sentenced shall be eligible to be considered for participation in a Department of Corrections administered transitional center or work release program.


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