A Birmingham man was arrested in Homewood recently after police allege he was caught in a hotel room with components used to make methamphetamine.
Drug charges in Birmingham are complex because they vary based on many factors, including the type of drug, the quantity police find, where they are being sold or purchased, the defendant's criminal history and other factors. Aggressively defending these cases with a Birmingham Criminal Defense Attorney is the only way to protect one's rights and fight the evidence brought by police and prosecutors.
According to the news report, the 28-year-old man faces a charge of unlawful manufacturing of a controlled substance. The article states that Homewood's narcotics unit, tactical team and special operations unit carried out a search warrant on the hotel room.
Inside the hotel room, officials said they found items that are commonly used to manufacture methamphetamine:
- Coleman fuel
- Ice packs
- Liquid drain opener
- lithium batteries
- household lye
- coffee filters
- hydrogen peroxide
- wire cutters
- empty pseudoephedrine
According to Alabama Code 13A-12-217, a person is guilty of unlawful manufacture of a controlled substance in the second degree if they:
- Manufacture a controlled substance enumerated in schedules I to V
- Possess precursor substances as determined in Section 20-2-181, in any amount with the intent to unlawfully manufacture a controlled substance
Someone convicted of this crime is guilty of unlawful manufacture of a controlled substance in the second degree, a class B felony. A class B felony can be punishable by two to 20 years in prison.
As with any crime, many aspects of the evidence can be challenged. In cases involving drugs like this one, the actions that police officers take in seeking a search warrant, what lead them to consider the suspect committed a crime and other aspects of their operation should be scrutinized.
What evidence is collected may be excluded from trial, depending on whether officers followed proper protocols. A defendant's statement to police, if a suspect gives a statement, may possibly be excluded, which can be advantageous to the defendant.
Someone being suspected for a drug crime shouldn't provide a statement to police because it can and will be used against them in court. If being investigated, a defendant should immediately consult with an experienced Birmingham Criminal Defense Attorney.
Not giving a statement to police and deciding whether or not to testify at trial could provide an important advantage to defendants by catching the prosecution off-guard. Of course, no defendant is required to testify because the state has the burden to prove the charges beyond a reasonable doubt.
The penalties for drug charges can vary depending on the type of substance alleged to have been manufacture, sold or purchased, the quantity and where it is being sold. Alabama law allows the state to increase penalties for certain types of drugs like cocaine and heroin compared to, for instance, marijuana.
Man charged after being caught with meth components at Homewood hotel, by Carol Robinson, The Birmingham News