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Crossing the guard line in Georgia: How to get into big trouble, very fast

Maybe your boyfriend is sitting in jail because he can’t afford bail, but you think that the charges are utterly bogus. Worse, your boyfriend’s anxiety is (naturally) through the roof, and the jail doctor won’t let him have his Xanax. You decide to sneak a couple of pills to him on your next visit.

That’s a massively bad idea. “Crossing the guard line” in any correctional facility with contraband — which includes drugs and weapons — is a specific crime in Georgia that’s treated differently than mere possession. In addition to the possession charge you’ll get if you’re caught carrying drugs that aren’t yours, you’ll also be charged with crossing the guard line — and that offense carries a mandatory minimum of a year in prison if you’re convicted.

Maybe you’d never be so foolish to try something like that, but it’s still important to understand how this rule works. Why? Because you can end up charged with crossing the guard line due to accidental concealment of drugs or weapons when you’re arrested on another charge.

For example, imagine that you had a few too many drinks one night before heading home and you got picked up for drunk driving. You entirely forgot that you have a marijuana joint hidden in your shoe until you’re asked to turn your shoes over during booking. The next thing you know, you’re charged with another crime — one that’s potentially a lot more serious.

The authorities in Georgia don’t play around when it comes to drug charges. If you’re charged with crossing the guard line or another drug offense, make no mistake: You need experienced legal assistance today.