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Crossing the guard line in Georgia: What it means

Want to spend the next one to four years in prison and have a felony record for life? That’s exactly what can happen if you’re convicted of “crossing the guard line” in Georgia.

The law is designed to keep illegal drugs, weapons and other contraband items out of prisons. This happens when friends, family members and associates of those people already convicted of other crimes or incarcerated while their trials are pending try to pass contraband items to their loved ones during visitation.

Unfortunately, deliberate actions on your part aren’t the only way you can be charged with crossing the guard line.

How you can end up facing this charge far too easily

Imagine this: You’re in high spirits after celebrating something important with your friends, and you get pulled over on your drive home. The officer decides that there’s enough probable cause to arrest you for drunk driving.

Before you’re put in the back seat of the police cruiser, the officer asks if you have any weapons or drugs on your person and you deny it. However, you’ve forgotten that you have a cannabis joint rolled up in your shoe. Maybe you didn’t forget, but you’re so afraid to tell the arresting officer that you have drugs on your person that you panic and lie.

Now, the arresting officer may do a quick pat down to make sure that there’s nothing obviously dangerous (like a knife or a gun) hidden in your clothing, but it isn’t until you’re searched again at the jail that the police will be entirely thorough. By that point, it’s too late: You’ve crossed the guard line – and the charges against you pile up.

If you’ve made a mistake and inadvertently brought drugs into a correctional facility, don’t try to handle this situation yourself. An experienced defense can help you achieve the best possible outcome for your case.