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Drug-related offenses in Shelby County can be charged as state and possibly even federal crimes depending on the facts and circumstances involved in a case. If someone is facing such charges, they may need help creating a strong defense to fight against severe fines, prison terms, and other freedom limiting consequences. They may want to consult with a Shelby County drug lawyer as soon as possible.

A savvy defense attorney could review the incident surrounding the charge, which could help find facts that may benefit a person’s case. Consider consulting a lawyer who is well-versed in defending people against drug violations. A capable lawyer could fight for you.

Drug Classifications

Like many states, courts in Shelby County regulate the possession and use of various drugs. The Alabama State Board of Health has five “schedules” of drugs based on the level of danger they pose for those who use them. Although Alabama’s drug schedules generally follow the ones established by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency, there may be some variations.

Schedule I

These are drugs with no accepted medical use, are prone to abuse, and are unsafe even under the supervision of medical personnel. Some Schedule I drugs may include hallucinogens, heroin, marijuana, methaqualone, and peyote.

Schedule II

Schedule II drugs have an accepted medical use but are prone to abuse, which can lead to severe physical and potentially psychological dependence. Some examples of Schedule II drugs are cocaine, methadone, morphine, and opium.

Schedule III

Typically, these drugs have an accepted medical use and a lower potential for abuse than Schedule I or Schedule II drugs. Abuse of these drugs can lead to a low or moderate degree of physical dependence and possibly a high degree of psychological dependence. Some Schedule III drugs in Shelby County are amphetamines, anabolic steroids, ketamine, and various “designer drugs.”

Schedule IV

While these drugs have an accepted medical use and are less prone to abuse than Schedule III drugs, they can still lead to a limited degree of physical and psychological dependence. Schedule IV drugs often regard barbiturates and phenobarbital.

Schedule V

Generally, Schedule V drugs have an accepted medical use and the lowest potential for abuse. They commonly result in very limited physical and psychological dependence. The majority of Schedule V drugs contain small amounts of specified narcotic drugs.

In addition to making the possession of various drugs illegal, Alabama also outlaws the possession of various drug-related paraphernalia. This generally includes accessories, equipment, and products that are used to produce or consume illegal drugs, such as bongs, pipes, smoking masks, or syringes.

Penalties That Could Apply to a Drug Charge

The penalties for illegally possessing drugs in Shelby County depend on whether the charges involve federal or state crimes, the specific drugs, the amounts involved, and if the defendant has any prior convictions. In general, however, such convictions often result in jail time and financial penalties, with increasingly harsh penalties for those with multiple convictions.

A conviction for illegally possessing drugs may result in a criminal record that can have a lifelong impact, especially if the conviction involves a felony. Additionally, a prior conviction for misdemeanor drug possession can result in a future charge being elevated to felony level. A skilled Shelby County drug lawyer could mitigate the penalties that you face.

Consulting an Attorney Familiar With Shelby County Drug Violations

When a person is charged with any type of drug-related offense, they may be at risk for receiving jail time and financial penalties. To mitigate these consequences and to preserve their rights, a person may want to consult with a Shelby County drug lawyer to help defend them against a drug-related offense.