Alabama Criminal Defense Lawyer

Possession of Drugs

Being charged with the possession of drugs is a very serious crime in Alabama. Drug charges carry heavy penalties that often include jail time and an expensive fine that you must pay plus all of the court fees. These are not the only consequences of being convicted of the possession of illegal substances.

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If you are convicted of felony possession, this conviction will go on your permanent record, and usually these types of offenses cannot be removed. Potential employers will have access to this information, and upon seeing the felony conviction many employers will not hire you for the job.

Alabama Drug Possession Laws

The laws for drug possession in Alabama are pretty cut and dry. There are three different types of offenses. One type of offense is geared toward the possession of a controlled substance, one is geared toward the possession of marijuana, and the other is for the possession of drug paraphernalia.

The unlawful possession of a controlled substance is considered to be a Class C Felony offense in Alabama. This means that you have in your possession a controlled substance that you are not authorized to have or use. You can also be charged with possession if you came to possess the substance through fraud, giving a false name or address, or by lying. This would be like assuming another person’s identity in order to get a prescription for pain medication filled.

Unlawful possession of marijuana can be placed into two categories. One is a Class C Felony, the other a Class A misdemeanor.  You can be charged with the Class C Felony if you are in possession of marijuana without authorization for anything other than your own personal use, such as selling it or distributing it. If you are currently being charged with possession after previously being convicted for Class A Misdemeanor possession of marijuana, it will become a Class C Felony charge.

Not only is it illegal to possess a controlled substance, it is illegal to own items or objects that are connected to the use of such substances as well. Possession of drug paraphernalia is considered a Class A misdemeanor. This means you are in possession of items that might be necessary for the consumption of a controlled substance, like a marijuana pipe or bong.

Penalties for Drug Possession

The penalties for being convicted of drug possession charges are serious. If you are convicted of the unlawful possession of a controlled substance, you could face a maximum of 10 years in prison. The minimum sentence you can receive is 1 year and 1 day in prison. Along with your prison term, you will be ordered by the court to pay a fee of up to $15,000. This same penalty can also be applied to the unlawful possession of marijuana in the first degree.

The unlawful possession of drug paraphernalia has a lesser penalty, as it is a misdemeanor. If convicted, you could spend up to a year in county jail and end up paying a $6,000 fine. This penalty is the same for unlawful possession of marijuana in the second degree.

The Benefits of Seeking Legal Counsel

Being charged with drug possession is a serious offense that can have disastrous consequences on your future. If you are facing this type of a charge, you need to consult with a drug defense attorney immediately. A drug defense attorney can help make sure that you get a fair trial and that you plead your case appropriately to avoid the maximum penalties possible. An attorney can also check into making sure that your constitutional rights were not violated by law enforcement agents during the search and seizure of your property that resulted in the discovery of drugs or paraphernalia.