A drug possession charge in Alabama can be more complicated than you think. There are many nuances that most people are unfamiliar with. It is not as simple as having drugs in your possession. So, if you are facing a drug possession charge, you need an experienced criminal defense attorney representing you.
Unlawful possession in Alabama
Unlawful possession charges in Alabama are either based on the possession of a controlled substance or marijuana. There are two separate sets of statutes that govern unlawful possess, depending on which type of drug is involved. Controlled substances are identified in the Alabama Code. The mere possession of one of those listed drugs is considered a Class C felony in Alabama.
Controlled substances not limited to illicit drugs
Charges for possession of a controlled substance are not limited to the types of illicit drugs that most people think of when it comes to drug possession. While cocaine and methamphetamines are certainly considered controlled substances, certain prescription medications qualify as well.
Therefore, obtaining or attempting to obtain a controlled substance or prescription medication by fraud, deceit, misrepresentation or alteration of a prescription is also a Class C felony. In other words, unlawful drug possession includes illegal drugs as well as legal medications which are illegally obtained and possessed.
The punishment for unlawful drug possession
Alabama’s drug possession charges are Class C felonies, which means they are punishable by 1 to 10 years in prison and a maximum fine of $15,000. Also, felons lose their right to vote and possess firearms. You could also lose your driver’s license for a period of time.
Deferred prosecution or drug court may be an option
Most Alabama counties offer some form of deferred prosecution or drug court based on the premise that drug offenses can be correctable. In most cases, in order to be eligible for drug court, the drug possession charge must be your first criminal charges. Under most Alabama County drug Court systems, you would be required to undergo drug treatment, testing, education, and other monitoring for a certain period of time between six months and a year. If you successfully complete the program your charges may be dismissed.
If you have questions regarding unlawful drug possession charges, or any other criminal defense matters, please contact Ketcham Law for a consultation by calling us at (205) 296-4233.