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Crossing the guard line: What does that mean?

Your boyfriend was arrested and is being held in the local jail. You’re naturally anxious about his well-being, so you immediately agree to bring him a few things he requested. It’s mostly a bunch of papers. You assume they may be important for his defense, so you gather them up.

Once you’re at the jail, however, a guard takes a closer look at what you’re carrying. Tucked deep inside the envelope of papers is a single tab of acid or a couple tiny pieces of crystal meth. Now, you’re under arrest for the felony-level crime of “crossing the guard line.” You’re facing up to four years in prison.

What just happened? Well, you fell into a trap that many others have fallen into before. “Crossing the guard line” is a crime that most people have never even heard about, much less committed. In essence, Georgia law states that it’s a felony to enter any kind of correctional institution while:

  • Intoxicated
  • Under the influence of drugs
  • Carrying a weapon (whether it’s a firearm or not)
  • Carrying drugs or alcohol

The idea, naturally, is to prevent these contraband items from making their way into jails and prisons. No doubt, some people do attempt to sneak drugs, alcohol or weapons into correctional facilities. However, you can also end up charged with crossing the guard line while innocently trying to transport something you think is permissible.

People can even face this serious charge after being arrested for something fairly trivial. Imagine, for example, you were picked up for a misdemeanor offense and transported to the local jail for processing. While you’re there, the police discover a marijuana cigarette you’d entirely forgotten about tucked into your shoe. Now you’re facing a felony on top of your other troubles.

If you’re charged with crossing the guard line, get legal assistance — fast. Your future is at stake.