ALABAMA FELONY AND MISDEMEANOR DRUG CHARGES
Alabama laws for the sale or possession of unlawful drugs are extremely rigid. A breach of the law for possessing, transporting, or selling controlled substances can have a dire effect on a person's future. Depending on both the type of specific contraband drugs and the quantity of drugs recovered, for a criminal charge, a person can face an extensive array of outcomes that can last a lifetime.
Due to the harshness of drug penalties in Alabama, it is well advised for anyone facing drug crime charges contact a qualified Shelby County Criminal Lawyer immediately. A competent and experienced lawyer can establish a powerful defense to assist in lessening any potential punishments that you may be facing.
If you are facing drug charges in Alabama, you may be subject to prosecution under state law 13A-12-210. Contact now or Call to for prompt and effective assistance.
Charges Under Alabama Drug Laws
In Alabama, the drug crime penalties depend on what sort of banned substance an individual is convicted of carrying and whether that person has a criminal conviction history. Selling drugs tends to be penalized more seriously than simple possession of drugs. Trafficking and manufacturing drugs is considered more severe than selling.
The State of Alabama's drug laws distinguishes misdemeanor and felony crimes. Misdemeanor crimes are weighed less severe than a felony.
- Misdemeanor: Misdemeanor crimes carry up to one year of imprisonment to be served in a city jail or county jail and a fine of up to $6,000 (Alabama Code 13A-5-7, 5-12.). Crimes such as possession of marijuana and paraphernalia in the second degree fall under this category.
- Felony: Felony crimes carry much more harsh penalties. Class A felonies constitute offenses that are deemed the most severe, while Class B and Class C crimes are considered less severe.
Examples of a felony drug charges include possessing Controlled Substances such as heroin, cocaine, prescription medications, and methamphetamine. In these instances, an individual faces at least one year confinement sentence, up to a $15,000 fine, and up to 10 years in a state penitentiary.
In drug distribution charges, a minimum of two years up to a 20-year sentence is possible, and drug trafficking cases lead to a minimum mandatory of three years sentence, which can be extended to 25 or life imprisonment on the quantities associated. (Alabama Code 13A-5-6, 5-11.)
Charges of Drug Possession
Under the Drug Crimes Amendments Act of 1987, the small possession of any drug listed in the drug schedules is considered illegal possession and is penalized as a Class C felony in Alabama. The quantity of the substance found extends the scope of Alabama drug punishments more so than the division of the controlled substance itself. A person performs the offense of illegal possession of drug with intent to sell/trade, if he carries more than 4g of heroin, between eight and 28g of cocaine, and any amphetamines up to 28g. Depending on the quantity of the controlled substances, the punishments can differ in harshness.
Charges of Drug Trafficking
Trafficking is a Class A felony that brings a serious minimum penalty. The most prominent short-term sentence is imprisonment. This is until a person is capable to make a very expensive bond in order to be released. Even after release, courts keep that individual under some sort of restrictions. These restrictions can sometimes be waived with the help of an expert Shelby County Criminal Lawyer.
The type of controlled substance offense that an individual is charged with in Alabama directs the short-term results that a person faces. The less harsh outcomes would be associated with drug crimes like simple marijuana possession or, sometimes, there are no outcomes other than visiting court and receiving drug prevention and education classes or probation and drug use monitoring. It may be possible to even have these types of charges eventually dismissed and later expunged (removed) from a person's criminal history.
Charges of Drug Distribution, Trafficking and Manufacturing
Drug distribution is a charge for the delivery, distribution, or sale of any drugs, including marijuana. The forbidden distribution comes under the Class B felony. Trafficking and distribution are severe felonies where a person faces prison sentences and up to $60,000 fine. However, these types of drug cases can be terminated in drug court with the assistance of a Shelby County Drug Crimes Lawyer.
Cocaine's case falls under the Class C felony. In cocaine possession offenses, 28g to 500g lead to $50,000 fine and a minimum of 3 years imprisonment, if convicted. Over 500g, but less than 1 kg of cocaine, then at least 5 years imprisonment and a fine of $100,000 will be awarded. One to ten kg may put an individual in 15 years of incarceration and a $250,000 fine as well.
Illegal drug manufacturing charges (such as methamphetamines) are considered very serious criminal offenses in Alabama and carry extremely high fines and potentially lengthy prison sentences. Manufacturing crimes can be charged as Class A or Class B felonies, depending on the types of illegal drugs manufactured and circumstances surrounding the criminal enterprise involved in their creation.
Types of Controlled Substance Charges
Alabama drug laws consider not only commonly known street drugs like heroin, cocaine, and marijuana to be controlled substances, but also the composites utilized to produce them. For instance, owning drug paraphernalia, such as pipes, rolling papers, and bongs are also prohibited.
According to the level of severity, Alabama categorizes its controlled substances into five different schedules under Alabama Code Sections 20-2-22 to 20-2-31:
- Schedule I: Covers those drugs that have a huge potential for harm, not for medical practice, or are hazardous for application in treatment, even under preventive surveillance. Examples of schedule I drugs are opiates, hallucinogenic substances, and certain opium derivatives.
- Schedule II: Covers those drugs that have tremendous potential for damage, accepted use for medical practice, and can appear in strict physical and psychological dependence. Examples of schedule II are coca opium and leaves.
- Schedule III: Covers those drugs that are harmless as compared to Schedule I or II drugs, allowed for medical practice, and can lead to mild psychological and physical dependence. Examples of schedule III are codeine and amphetamines.
- Schedule IV: Covers those substances that have a lower potential for harms as compared to Schedule III drugs, have an agreeable medical use, and can lead to minor physical and psychological dependence. Barbiturate is an example of schedule III.
- Schedule V: Considers the least vulnerable, accepted for medical practice, and can lead to minor psychological or physical. Examples of Schedule V drugs are medicines that have low amounts of particularized narcotic drugs.
Exception: Some substances such as codeine, a common pain medication, maybe carried legally so long as an individual holds a proper prescription.
Though Alabama drug laws classify controlled substances into the schedules, the criminal statues only differentiate marijuana and any other controlled substances, and crime laws only apply separate penalties for possession. The law also bans prescription drugs without a valid prescription and address it a crime to show a forged prescription report or any type of fraud to take controlled substances. Certain schedules consider the possession of any synthetic drug, including spice, bath salts, and synthetic cannabis, unlawful.
Harsh Penalties for Habitual Drugs Convictions
Alabama imposes harsh penalties under Alabama Code Section 13A-5-9, on individuals with history of felony convictions.
If a person has a one prior felony conviction a Class C felony possession is punishable as a Class B felony and Class B felony is punished as a Class A felony.
And, In case if an individual has two prior felony convictions then Class C felony possession is convicted as a Class A felony and Class B felony is guilty by 15 years to life imprisonment.
As well as if a person has a history of three felony convictions then Class C felony possession is sentenced by 15 years to life imprisonment and Class B felony possession is sentenced by 20 years to life imprisonment.
Individuals charged with a Class D drug charge do not have those charges considered when determining if the Alabama Habitual Offender Act is applicable.
In criminal matters, a person can have 3 different types of records. The drug conviction history includes:
Background history: It only covers convictions.
Incarceration Record: If a person is arrested and charged for carrying drugs or any other drug crime, that charge would arise on the arrest history.
Driving History: It doesn't reveal anything directly related to drug crimes except there are convictions and a suspension of driving license.
In Alabama, a person's arrest record would be the first thing that is initially impacted. But, if the matter is defended strongly and the case is dismissed, there are some ways to clean up that very record.
How Can an Alabama Drug Lawyer Help Me?
Our Chelsea Drug Crimes Lawyer at Patriot Law Firm, LLC will examine your case and potential options be discussed. Any error or omission in the police report or constitutional violation during the police investigation or any material weakness in the prosecution's case may reduce your charges or dismiss your case entirely. However, it will take a trained legal eye of Alabama Criminal Defense Attorney to expose them.
As with any drug offenses in Alabama, an individual faces severe results such as high fines and court costs, future employment issues, potential loss of driver's license (DUI charges involving drugs), permanent loss of the right to possess or own a firearm, and a lengthy incarceration. It is vital to contact an Alabama Criminal Defense Attorney. An individual facing a drug charge in Alabama should always contact a Shelby County Alabama Drug Lawyer and should do so promptly for minimizing crime charges.
A free consultation is available with Chelsea Criminal Defense Attorney Erik Fine, who has consistently provided insightful legal advice and representation to his clients that has made the difference in their drug crime matters.
ALABAMA FELONY AND MISDEMEANOR DRUG CHARGE LAWYER
Call attorney Erik Fine today and speak with a competent and experienced Chelsea Criminal Defense Lawyer at 205-478-2498 anytime 24/7.