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What is crossing the guard line in Georgia?

Most people have never heard of the offense of “crossing the guard line,” but it’s a serious crime in this state – and it’s easier to end up facing this charge than you might think.

In essence, “crossing the guard line” is the term used to describe an attempt to carry forbidden items (contraband) into a correctional facility, whether that’s a local jail or a prison. If convicted, you’ll have a felony record, and face one to four years in prison – and that’s on top of any associated convictions, like drug possession.

How do people end up facing this charge?

There are usually a few common scenarios that lead to charges of crossing the guard line:

  • A moment of panic: Imagine that you’re pulled over on suspicion of driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol and you’re arrested. As you’re taken into custody, the officer pats you down, but they miss the marijuana joint that you have tucked into your shoe. You don’t want to get into any more trouble, so you keep silent – but the joint is discovered while you’re being booked into the local jail.
  • Pure forgetfulness: You have a perfectly legal pocket knife that fits into your boot, and you’ve carried it with you so long that you forgot it was there. When you go visit your cousin in jail, you fail to turn it over because you simply don’t remember you have it until after a guard spots it.
  • A desire to help: Your husband is jailed pending the resolution of their case, and you know they’re struggling. They ask you to bring them a few things, including their anxiety drugs. You don’t really see the harm in giving them their own medication, so you try to sneak it in and get caught.

Unfortunately, mistakes like this happen often. If you’re facing charges of crossing the guard line and associated crimes, invoke your right to remain silent until you can fully explore your defense options with the assistance of a skilled attorney.