Much like DUI charges in Alabama, possession of illegal drugs, prescription medicines that are not yours, or possession of items relating to the selling, growing, or distributing of drugs is a very serious offense. It can carry very hefty penalties if you are convicted, and these follow you for the rest of your life. Some of the toughest sentences in the state of Alabama deal with drugs, in an effort to curb drug problems and repeat offenses statewide.
The classification of the charge—misdemeanor or felony—depends on how much you have in your possession when you are arrested. The more you have, the higher the classification will become and the more serious the consequences if you are convicted. That is why it is so critical to begin building a successful defense in your case as soon as possible, to protect your rights and your future. Our track record with these types of cases is excellent, and we have seen much better than expected results in more than 90% of our cases over the last two decades.
Misdemeanor Possession Charge
There is only one illegal drug that can be classified as a misdemeanor if you are caught with it, and that is marijuana. If you are arrested for possession of any other controlled substance, even if it is a very small amount, it will be classified as a felony in the state of Alabama. The misdemeanor possession charge carries up to 12 months in jail and a monetary fine of up to two thousand dollars, and you could receive one or both penalties, depending on the situation.
The misdemeanor option for possession of marijuana is only available for a first offense, even if you have the same amount or a lesser one the second time around. Second offenses, no matter how minute, are going to be classified as felonies. The classification is harsh in order to discourage repeat offenses in the state, and most states crack down very hard on any type of drug charges for the same reason.
Felony Possession Charge
All other controlled substances, in whatever amount, are classified as felony charges in the state of Alabama. You face between one and ten years of jail time, depending on the circumstances surrounding the case, and a fine of five thousand dollars, which may be imposed on top of the jail time rather than in place of it. Keep in mind that this is the type of charge that normally accompanies other charges, so the penalty could be in addition to other punishments.
The term of imprisonment and amount of fine increases dramatically if you are caught in possession of a large amount of the drug, especially the monetary fine amount. The minimum jail time becomes a period of no less than three years, and the fine jumps from five to fifty thousand dollars or more. This is because the possession charge becomes a drug trafficking charge with large amounts, even if you claim that it was intended for personal consumption.
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