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What is “crossing the guard line” in Georgia?

On Behalf of | Jul 20, 2023 | Criminal Defense |

When it comes to criminal law issues, what you don’t know can really hurt you – especially when certain lesser-known crimes like “crossing the guard line” are involved.

In essence, crossing the guard line happens when you try to enter a correctional facility with any kind of firearm, other weapons, alcohol or drugs on your person.

What’s the penalty for crossing the guard line?

If you’re convicted of this crime, you will have a felony criminal record with all that entails. Aside from facing a prison sentence of no less than a year (and up to four), you’ll also lose your right to vote, the ability to run for or hold a public office and your Second Amendment firearm privileges – among other penalties.

How can you end up charged with crossing the guard line?

Typically, there are two ways that people end up facing this charge:

  • They went to visit a friend or relative in jail or prison and either forgot that they had contraband items on them or purposefully tried to sneak the contraband to the inmate and got caught.
  • They were arrested on a different charge, such as driving under the influence (DUI), and the officer’s pat-down search at the time of the arrest missed a small quantity of drugs or a weapon.

That second situation is the most problematic for people, because it’s the sort of thing that nobody expects to happen. Most people don’t start their day believing they will be hauled into jail that night over a drunk driving charge. Often, someone who finds themselves under sudden arrest may either simply forget about a tiny baggie of drugs in their shoe due to stress or be so scared to admit to what they have on them to an arresting officer that they just hope it isn’t found. That leaves them in a far worse position than if they were facing either a simple DUI charge or even a DUI and possession charge.

If you’re facing any kind of criminal charges, it’s wise to get a legal take that’s tailored to your unique situation. Only then can you make informed choices about your defense options.