If you are facing methamphetamine charges in Alabama, it is imperative that you speak with an attorney who has the experience and skill to provide you with an effective defense.
Prosecutors and law enforcement officials take methamphetamine crimes very seriously. Not only is methamphetamine illegal, but it is also highly addictive, debilitating to one’s health, and often the reason behind many acts of violence.
To ensure you have the defense you need against your charges, you should strongly consider speaking with a drug crimes attorney. At Alabama Criminal Lawyers, we are committed to aggressively defending people against all types of meth charges, including:
Any time a person is arrested on charges related to manufacturing, sale or possession of methamphetamine in Alabama, the potential penalties are severe.
The popularity of the drug, produced by mixing and cooking over-the-counter cold medicine and household cleaning products, has swept the nation in recent years. It was named the “No. 1 drug threat in Alabama” by the U.S. Department of Justice.
The seriousness of the charges against defendants will depend heavily on intentions. Specifically, the law seeks to differentiate between possession for personal use and possession for sale.
Because prosecutors don’t read minds, one of the primary ways this determination is made is by evaluating the weight of the drug (or active ingredients) involved. Presumably, those who intend possession for personal use would have smaller amounts than someone possessing the drug for sale.
Our Birmingham methamphetamine defense lawyers know one of the key ways to argue for reduced charges is to challenge the weight of the drug involved. This is a particularly effective defense when we are dealing with the precursor chemicals involved in methamphetamine manufacturing.
For example, if authorities argue for enhanced penalties because the defendant possessed 28 grams of pseudoephedrine (one of the key ingredients in methamphetamine manufacturing), we would argue that’s not an effective measure. Rather, investigators would need to show how much methamphetamine that amount of pseudoephedrine might reasonably yield – which is likely to be less than original weight.
In Alabama, the law holds any person who knowingly sells, manufactures, delivers, brings into the state or is in actual or constructive possession of 28 grams or more of methamphetamine – or any mixture containing the active ingredients – is guilty of felony trafficking in illegal drugs.
For someone with between 28 grams and 500 grams, the minimum mandatory sentence is three years, plus a $50,000 fine. Someone possessing between 500 grams, but less than 1 kilo will face up to five years in prison and a $100,000 fine. Someone possessing between 1 kilo but less than 10 kilos will face up to 15 years in prison, plus a $250,000 fine. Anyone with 10 kilos or more will face a mandatory term of life imprisonment.
One example of a recent challenge of weight limits associated with the precursor chemicals in methamphetamine occurred in Indiana, in the case of Buelna v. State, heard by the Indiana Supreme Court. Although drug laws and penalties vary from state-to-state, the same legal principles apply.
According to court records, the defendant was charged with a top-level felony for manufacturing methamphetamine. This was an enhancement from a lower-level felony because at least 3 grams of the drug were at issue. (Indiana’s threshold for felony trafficking is 3 grams, where Alabama’s is 28 grams.)
Subsequently, a jury found the defendant guilty of the top-level felony. The defendant appealed, arguing there was not enough evidence to support the enhancement under the 3-gram limit because the state weighed the pre-manufactured mixture, as opposed to presenting evidence indicating how much final product the mixture would have yielded.
The Indiana Supreme Court agreed with the defendant on this point, and did find the state failed to present sufficient evidence. However, the conviction was upheld due to other circumstances specific to this case. In particular, evidence was presented indicating the defendant manufactured an additional final product that exceeded that 3-gram limit.
In addition to weight-limit challenges, defense lawyers may also argue for suppression of evidence in drug cases where police:
If you are arrested for a methamphetamine-related offense in Alabama, contact our offices immediately.
Without the representation of an experienced Alabama methamphetamine defense lawyer, you may find yourself convicted of the charges and sentenced to years in state or federal prison, thousands of dollars in fines, probation, asset forfeiture, community service, and mandatory drug treatment or counseling. Do not put yourself in a position to be convicted of the charges.
By contacting us, we can use our experience and extensive resources to help you work towards getting your charges reduced or the case thrown out entirely. Trust me when we say your life will never be the same again, should you be found guilty.
When your rights and future are on the line, trust an attorney who will go the extra mile for you, whether it means mounting an aggressive defense during trial, questioning key evidence or witnesses, or negotiating a fair plea bargain.
If you or a loved one is facing methamphetamine charges, please don’t hesitate to contact an Alabama methamphetamine possession attorney with Alabama Criminal Lawyers today to learn more about your rights and best options.
Call us at (205) 981-2450 for a free consultation.