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Under Birmingham law, drug paraphernalia extends into certain commonly used household chemicals, even including rat poison. Because the law is so expansive and the penalties for possessing such items are harsh, the services of an experienced Birmingham drug paraphernalia lawyer may be necessary to protect the rights of someone who has received an accusation.

While receiving charges for drug paraphernalia possession may seem daunting, know that you do not have to face them alone. Read on to learn more about how a professional narcotics attorney could help make a difference in your case.

Drug Paraphernalia Laws in Birmingham

Drug paraphernalia can be defined as anything used for injecting, smoking, growing, cultivating, producing, storing, selling, or transporting a controlled substance. Possessing any item that can be used in any way with illicit drugs, with intent to use the item for a drug-related criminal offense, is illegal.

Courts in Birmingham, Alabama treat possession of drug paraphernalia for first offenders as a misdemeanor. Misdemeanors are arranged in three classes: A, B, and C. Class A misdemeanors—the most serious class—can carry a year-long jail sentence and a fine that can climb as high as $6,000. Repeated drug paraphernalia offenses can be charged as felonies.

The lowest class of felony, class C, may carry a prison sentence from one to ten years. Someone who provides drug paraphernalia to a minor can be charged with a Class B felony, which carries a prison sentence of anywhere from two to 20 years. Two or more individuals can be charged with possessing drug paraphernalia if they are aware that the item is present and its purpose for being there is drug-related, even if the item does not belong to them and they did not bring it into the situation. This is referred to as constructive possession under the law.

Birmingham’s Deferred Prosecution Program

Those charged with a drug offense in Birmingham may qualify for the state’s deferred prosecution program in Birmingham, which is aimed at rehabilitation rather than punishment for drug users. Under this program, the defendant agrees to admit guilt, waive the right to a trial by jury, and agree to a deferred sentence of between six and 12 months imprisonment that would be enforced if the defendant did not finish the program. Court costs and fines must be paid in a timely fashion. At the end of the deferred prosecution program, the charge against the defendant is dismissed. However, deferred prosecution is not available to those charged with manufacturing, distributing, or trafficking drugs. Reach out to a dedicated defense attorney to learn more.

Consult with a Birmingham Drug Paraphernalia Lawyer Today

There are many potential defense strategies that a qualified Birmingham drug paraphernalia lawyer can use for those accused. The defense may claim that the defendant did not know the drug paraphernalia was in their presence. Another potential defense is that actual possession or exclusive control did not exist. The defense may also argue that the prosecution does not have sufficient evidence to prove its case, and may succeed in preventing the admissibility of certain evidence.

In some cases, an entrapment defense can be used if a law enforcement officer convinced someone to take possession or control of alleged paraphernalia when the individual would not have done so of their own volition. If you require legal assistance for a defense against drug paraphernalia charges, schedule an appointment with a distinguished Birmingham drug paraphernalia lawyer today who could protect your rights and represent you in court.