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Drug Possession Laws in Alabama: Penalties, Defenses, and Legal Considerations

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How Harsh Are the Drug Possession Laws in Alabama?

If you’re charged with a drug crime in Alabama, you must know that you could face severe and harsh consequences. Also, Alabama is particularly extreme for drug possession, and possessing any amount of a controlled substance, even if you consider it “small,” is profound.

If you’re convicted of possession (or sale), you could face jail time, fines, and other more indirect issues that could follow you for the rest of your life.

You should also know that recently, the state prosecutors have moved slightly away from a punishment-only approach to a bit more of a rehabilitative one. However, many types of drug crimes do not qualify.

Also, if you are convicted and eligible for this new approach, many of you may find their restrictions are not doable in your present life situation,

Alabama’s state legislature categorizes controlled substances into five separate “schedules.” These schedules use the potential for drug abuse as a guideline and whether the drug has any everyday medical use.

They range from Schedule 1 to Schedule Five. Schedule 1 drugs have a high potential for abuse and no current medical use. This schedule includes marijuana, mescaline, peyote, LSD, heroin, and more.

Schedule Five includes specific narcotics with a lower potential for abuse, valid medical use, and the lowest potential for drug dependence. This schedule contains particular amounts of codeine and other more well-known drugs. The rest of the drugs fall somewhere in between.

Your experienced criminal defense lawyer will tell you that although Alabama divides controlled substances into schedules, all criminal statutes commonly distinguish between marijuana and all (or any) other controlled substances. Even then, the Alabama statutes do apply separate penalties for possession.

The Alabama law also addresses and enforces penalties for possessing prescription drugs without a valid prescription and synthetic drugs such as spice, bath salts, and more.

So, if you’re convicted of drug possession, it does matter what drugs you possess, but also you must be aware that the drug laws in Alabama are inherently severe and designed to be life-changing for those who violate them.

What Are Some Examples of Penalties for Drug Possession in Alabama?

The legal consequences for drug crimes in Alabama are severe, and the type of charge you incur is the most significant determining factor in the consequences you may face. Many Violations & Penalties are defined in a  University of Alabama PDF, and you can readily see that most penalties are dire.

These penalties range simply as follows:

  • Class A Felony can get you 10-99 years to life in prison and fines of $60.000 and more.
  • Class B Felony can range from 2 to 20 years in prison and a $30,000 fine.
  • Class C Felony usually is 1-5 years in jail and a fine of up to $15,000.
  • Class D Felony is usually 1-5 years in jail and a fine up to $7,500.
  • Call A Misdemeanor up to 1 year in jail and a fine up to $6,000.

Alabama state prosecutors will pursue these sentences if you are found possessing any number of illegal drugs excluding marijuana. A Class D felony is commonly used if you have a minimal amount of an illicit drug. Still, all the penalties highlight the severity of being convicted of drug crimes in Alabama.

What Are Some Common Defenses for Alabama Drug Possession.

So, if you’re charged with any drug possession crime in Alabama, the prudent move is to consult with an Alabama criminal defense lawyer as soon as possible. Your lawyer will review your case thoroughly and be able to determine what you may be facing and get ahead of the prosecution as quickly as possible.

Depending on what state prosecutors’ case is based on, such as physical evidence, witness testimony, etc., your lawyer can potentially use numerous defenses to fight the evidence and the charge.

A few examples of defenses are:

  • Illegal search and seizure – This is a common defense for drug possession and attempts to prove that the police conducted an unlawful search and seizure. Your Fourth Amendment rights protect you against unreasonable searches and seizures, and if the police violated them, then the evidence (and your charges) could be dismissed.
  • Lack of knowledge – You must prove that you did not know the drugs were in your car or home. You could avoid a conviction by arguing that you didn’t possess the drugs in the first place.
  • Possession of a small amount of marijuana – A minor amount of marijuana that’s small enough to be only “for personal use” could just be a misdemeanor offense.

Of course, each case differs, and after a thorough analysis of the precise details of your case, your experienced, detail-oriented, and aggressive Alabama criminal defense lawyer will know precisely how to defend your rights and your freedom.

What Else Should I Know If I’m Charged With Drug Possession.

As harsh as Alabama’s drug possession is, being convicted also imposes severe consequences on your life, which you might not be aware of at first.

Along with the possibility of jail time and fines, being convicted of a possession charge in Alabama will commonly impose significant consequences for the remainder of your life. These more “hidden” consequences will affect your future employment issues, loss of your driver’s license, and more.

When you’re involved in a criminal matter, you usually have three different types of records that are affected; these records include:

  • Your driver’s history may not show anything related to a drug offense unless you’re convicted, and your license is restricted or suspended.
  • An arrest history – When you are charged with possession or any other drug offense, this will appear on your arrest history and stay there until your case is resolved.
  • Background record – Any “background checks” used today for employment, housing, and more would show your conviction for the rest of your life.

Although your arrest record would be the first thing impacted if your aggressive Alabama criminal defense lawyer successfully defends your case and it is dismissed, there are ways to expunge and purge any history.

I’ve Been Charged With Drug Possession in Alabama; What Should I Do?

If you’ve been charged with drug possession or any drug crime in Alabama, you must contact a qualified, winning criminal defense lawyer; you should do it immediately. If you do and provide your lawyer the details they need, they will fight to get ahead of the prosecution and have the best chance to reduce, mitigate, or drop your charges.

The district court is usually the first step in this process, and they will decide whether there was probable cause for your arrest and if you should have even been held responsible.

Alabama criminal defense lawyer Jim Golden is dedicated to fighting for your rights and providing you with the best legal defense possible. Call today at (866) 950-6652 to obtain a free case evaluation, and we will fight tirelessly to protect your rights and your freedom.

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