Birmingham Drug Lawyer
Drug laws in Alabama are complex and the penalties could be severe, which is why it is important to work with a Birmingham drug lawyer if you have been charged with a drug-related crime. Effective legal representation is essential from the beginning to the end of your case, as the prosecutor is likely to pursue the case aggressively.
The law has yet to catch up to popular opinion about drugs. Even though drug usage is widely seen as a medical issue that usually has limited negative consequences for the broader society, the law treats it as a serious criminal offense. As a result, drug crimes that seem relatively minor can have significant and unexpected penalties.
An effective defense requires careful evidence gathering, strong understanding of case law, familiarity with local police, prosecutors, and judges, and a tenacious commitment to justice. Regardless of the nature of the drug crime, the defendant deserves to have a dedicated advocate in court to assure lesser penalties.
Examples of Drug Crimes
Drug crimes take many forms. A Birmingham drug lawyer helps defendants to understand the breadth of the charges facing them and helps devise a customized legal strategy. There are common examples of drug crimes common in Birmingham.
- Possession of drug paraphernalia
- Possession of drugs
- Manufacture or delivery of drugs
- Trafficking drugs
- Dealing drugs
Within any one of these areas of the law, there is a lot of complexity and a whole range of potential penalties. That is why the guidance of a Birmingham drug lawyer is pertinent.
- Possession of marijuana less than 2.2 pounds – Up to one year in jail and a $6,000 fine
- Possession of marijuana more than 2.2 pounds – Up to 10 years in jail and a $15,000 fine
- Possession of cocaine less than 28 grams – Up to 10 years in jail and a $15,000 fine
- Possession of cocaine more than 28 grams – At least three years in jail and a $50,000 fine
- Drug dealing – Up to 99 years in jail and a $60,000 fine
- Drug trafficking of marijuana less than 2.2 pounds – At least three years in jail and a $25,00 fine
For misdemeanor drug offenses, such as possession of marijuana in the second degree or drug paraphernalia, a person would face in municipal court up to a $500 fine and up to 180 days in the city jail. If either of those misdemeanors were prosecuted in the district court, the person would face up to a $6,000 fine and up to a 365-day sentence. For more severe felony drug offenses, such as possession, a person faces a year and a day up to 10 years in the state penitentiary and up to $15,000 on drug manufacturing.
A Class B Felony is 2 years to 20 years. For trafficking, it is a minimum of 10 years to life with the minimum mandatory of three years and if certain enhancements are added, that minimum mandatory sentence increases to an additional five years. If someone has prior felony convictions, they could be facing a life sentence, as well in certain trafficking offenses based on the quantity, a person could face a life sentence.
Benefits of an Attorney
The penalties for even minor drug crimes are stiff. That is why you need to work with a Birmingham drug lawyer as soon as you are charged for a drug crime. There is no guarantee that you will escape punishment, but you can ensure that your rights are upheld and that your side of the story is told. The severity of the penalties associated with a drug charge can often have a long-lasting effect on the individual involved.
Both personal and professional relationships may suffer, and an individual may be barred from achieving gainful employment in the future. Further, it can be difficult to acquire admission to schools, as well as take out any type of loan. These hardships are often incredibly difficult to overcome and should be prevented before they can take place. An experienced Birmingham drug lawyer can build a strong case, to help ensure that any and all penalties you may be facing are either reduced or dismissed entirely.