Possession of Marijuana
Being convicted of possessing marijuana can have a serious impact on your life. Having a drug charge on your permanent record can make it very difficult to find gainful employment, as you are considered to be a risk to the company.
Being convicted of a felony can also make it difficult to find adequate housing, as many property owners will consider you a liability. Property owners will be concerned about the type of activity that you might bring to the neighborhood if you are known to use or possess marijuana.
Alabama Possession of Marijuana Laws
The laws in Alabama are very clear about the legality of possessing marijuana. There are two different types of marijuana possession offenses. The first type is first degree possession of marijuana and the other is second degree possession of marijuana.
First Degree Possession of Marijuana is considered to be the more serious of the two offenses. It is considered by Alabama law to be a Class C Felony offense. The law defines a First Degree Possession of Marijuana offense as being in possession of marijuana for anything other than authorized, legal personal use. You can also be charged with this offense if you have been convicted of Second Degree Possession of Marijuana in the past and are being charged with possession of marijuana again.
Second Degree Possession of Marijuana is considered to be a lesser offense, as it is only a Class A Misdemeanor. This means that you have been found to be in possession of marijuana for your own use.
The Penalties for Possessing Marijuana
The penalties for each of these two offenses vary greatly depending on the type of offense and how much marijuana was found to be in your possession. If you are charged with the possession of 2 pounds or less of marijuana and it was a misdemeanor charge, you could spend up to a year in prison. There is also a hefty fine of $6,000 for a misdemeanor charge.
Being convicted of a felony is of course a much more serious crime, so the penalty is also a bit more severe. In Alabama, a person convicted of felony possession of marijuana of 2 pounds or less could face anywhere from 1 year up to 10 years in prison, along with a $15,000 fine. If you are convicted of felony possession of more than 2 pounds of marijuana, the penalty remains the same, although if you are found to have more than 2 pounds of marijuana, it becomes a felony charge rather than a misdemeanor if you only possess that amount for your own use.
If you are being charged with Possession of Marijuana in the state of Alabama, you should immediately contact a legal professional. There are many benefits to finding and hiring a skilled drug possession defense attorney. An attorney who specializes in drug possession cases can possibly help you avoid a conviction and prevent a felony offense from appearing on your record and keeping you out of prison.
Defense Strategies for Possession of Marijuana
Many defense lawyers who specialize in this type of legal work use the questioning of constructive possession defense. This means that a lawyer will try and make the point that just because the drugs were found on your property does not necessarily make them your drugs. Another possible angle that an attorney may take is to bring into question the circumstances regarding the search and seizure of the marijuana in the first place. Often times many police officers unknowingly violate an individual’s constitutional protection against unlawful search and seizure. If this defense holds up in court it can result in the entire case being thrown out and you avoiding serious prison time and heavy fines.