When a defendant is being charged for a drug offense, the determination of the penalties vary depending on the offense. They will vary according to the offense, the drug involved, the amount of the drug and the previous criminal history of the individual. Alabama categorizes drugs into five “schedules” depending on the danger of the drug. Schedule V is the least dangerous drugs such as medicines and some narcotics. Schedule I drugs have the highest degree of danger, they are drugs such as opiates and hallucinogenic substances.
If an individual is caught in possession of a controlled substance between Schedule I-V, the offense is charged as a felony. If the offense involves the sale of any of these substances, it is also a felony but has the possibility of being a Class A felony, which holds harsher consequences. When it comes to marijuana offenses, the possession of marijuana is generally charged as a misdemeanor as long as the defendant does not have prior convictions. If the amount of marijuana in possession is over one kilogram, then the offense could be charged as a Class C felony because over one kilogram is seen to be used for trafficking or sale. Drug crimes involving sale and distribution of marijuana are felony offenses. Regardless if you are facing misdemeanor or felony drug charges, you need the assistance of an Alabama drug crime attorney right away. We may be able to help you fight your charges and save your criminal record.
The consequences of misdemeanor drug offenses differ significantly from the felony offense penalties. Misdemeanor offenses involve jail time of under one year while felony offenses are punishable by over one year in jail. The harshest misdemeanor charge is punishable by no more than one year in jail and a fine of up to $6,000. While the breakdown of felony drug crime penalties is:
Class A Felony:
- Prison sentence from 10 years to life
- Fines of up to $60,000
Class B felony:
- Prison sentence between two and 20 years
- Fines of up to $30,000
Class C felony:
- Prison sentence between one and 10 years
- Fines of up to $15,000
The penalties also vary if there is the presence of a firearm involved in the offense. If there is a firearm involved in a Class A felony, the defendant is facing no less than 20 years in prison. If you are facing any type of drug crime charge in Alabama, you need the help of a skilled Alabama drug crime lawyer.