Vestavia Hills Drug Lawyer
If a person is arrested for a drug crime in Alabama, it is understandable to be confused and anxious. The penalties for possession of even a small amount of marijuana can result in significant jail time and stiff fines.
Vestavia Hills drug lawyers work with clients who have been accused of all sorts of drug crimes ranging from simple possession through drug trafficking. People often ask:
- How are the drug crimes in Alabama classified?
- What are the potential penalties?
- What can an attorney do to help?
For answers to these questions and to build an effective defense, an individual should contact a Vestavia Hills criminal attorney immediately.
Drug Crimes in Alabama
Drug offenses in Alabama range in severity from a Class A misdemeanor through felonies. The least serious of the drug offenses is Possession of Marijuana in the Second Degree Alabama Code 13A-12-214.
Unlike many states that have decriminalized the possession of marijuana for personal use, Alabama has not. Possession of marijuana will at minimum be classified as a Class A misdemeanor. There is also the separate crime of Possession of Marijuana in the First Degree under Alabama Code 13-A-12-213, that is either a Class C or a Class D felony, depending on the circumstances. Alabama Code also enumerates numerous crimes for possession of other controlled substances, such as cocaine and methamphetamine.
The next class of drug crimes in Alabama is Possession with Intent to Distribute. This statute infers intent to distribute based on the quantity of drugs alleged to have been found in a person’s possession. The exact amounts specified for particular drugs are found in the statute, but all are considered to be Class B felonies.
The most serious class of drug charges in Alabama is drug trafficking. Once again, it is the amount of the drugs that separates this from possession with intent to distribute. Alabama Code 13A-12-231 defines the exact amounts of the drugs in question with the most serious offenses carrying a mandatory sentence of life in prison without parole. To understand the nuances surrounding further drug crimes, an individual should contact a Vestavia Hills drug attorney as soon as possible.
Class A misdemeanors, such as Possession of Marijuana in the Second Degree, carry a maximum sentence of one year in jail with a potential fine of $6,000.
The penalties for felonies are much more severe. While the exact penalties for many drug offenses are written into the laws, there are also general guidelines written in Alabama Code 13A-5-6. This includes imprisonment terms of:
- Class A Felony: No less than 10 years in prison, but up to life imprisonment
- Class B Felony: No less than two years, but up to 20 years
- Class C Felony: No less than one year and one day, but up to 10 years
- Class D Felony: No less than one year and one day, but up to five years
There are also a number of aggravating factors that can lead to increased minimum penalties such as selling drugs near a school, or being in the possession of a firearm during a drug sale.
Vestavia Hills drug attorneys work with people to better understand the nature of their charges and the potential penalties.
Benefit of a Vestavia Hills Drug Lawyer
From being arrested, to appearing in court, to dealing with an aggressive prosecutor, being accused of a drug crime in Alabama can be an intimidating situation. With the consequences of a potential life in jail without parole, the stakes could not be higher.
Vestavia Hills drug lawyers work with clients who have been charged with drug crimes ranging from possession through trafficking.
They examine all the evidence in the case, question all witnesses, prepare evidentiary motions, and argue on your behalf in court. From arraignment, to pre-trial sessions, to potential trials, skilled attorneys are on your side fighting for your freedom. Contact today.