Birmingham Narcotics Lawyer

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Alabama Narcotics Charges

Even when drug sales are small-scale, the State of Alabama and the United States Government both take them very seriously. Both governments mandate long prison sentences for sales alone, along with high fines, confiscation of property and prohibitions on alternative sentencing.

In Alabama, even attempting to sell or buy drugs can also get your driver’s license revoked. And because selling even a small amount of it is a felony in both jurisdictions, those convicted become convicted felons with a serious criminal record that can haunt them for the rest of their lives. If you’ve been charged with selling narcotics or any related crime, you need help from a skilled drug lawyer.

Based in Birmingham, Alabama Criminal Lawyers represents clients throughout the State of Alabama. We defend all federal and state narcotics sales charges and related charges, such as:

  • Unlawful distribution of controlled substances
  • Solicitation to sell or buy drugs
  • Conspiracy to sell drugs
  • Enhancements to a sales charge, such as sale of a controlled substance to a minor, or sale within three miles of a school or a housing project
  • Trafficking drugs

Federal Narcotics Charges

In the State of Alabama, you can be charged with unlawful distribution if you sell, give away, deliver, furnish or distribute any illegal drug. However, you can be charged with trafficking if the drug is over a certain amount. That amount changes with each drug.

For example, you cannot be charged with trafficking if you sold less than 2.2 pounds of marijuana, 28 grams of cocaine or methamphetamine or four grams of heroin. The penalty for unlawful distribution is two to 20 years in prison, plus fines and other punishments.

Under federal law, drug sales are covered by laws against the distribution or dispensing of illegal drugs within the United States. Like many other federal laws, these are graduated laws, with more severe penalties for crimes involving larger amounts of drugs or those considered more serious.

Depending on the drug and the amount, you could draw just a few years up to life in federal prison. Under federal law, you may also be fined millions of dollars; have your property confiscated; become ineligible for federal benefits and more.

It’s important to realize that both the U.S. and Alabama governments punish attempted or planned drug sales as if they were completed. That is, if you make a deal with an informant or a law enforcement officer, you can be charged with selling narcotics even if no money changed hands or you didn’t possess drugs.
Similarly, a conspiracy — which is simply agreeing with one or more people — to sell drugs gets the same sentence as actually selling them.

Oxycodone Charges

The National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) reports that 81% of the world’s supply of oxycodone is consumed in the United States. Unfortunately, Oxycodone is sometimes used in an illegal manner. Oxycodone is a strong painkiller that comes with the downside of being both highly addictive and leading to drug abuse.

In Jefferson County and the rest of the state of Alabama, Oxycodone is illegally used and distributed. Individuals who are found possessing Oxycodone can face substantial penalties if convicted including time in prison, substantial fines, and the accompanying social stigma.

Due to the strict punishments attached to Oxycodone charges in Jefferson County, individuals should just also understand some of the vital elements concerning Oxycodone charges in the state of Alabama.

The Nature Of Oxycodone

Used in a clinical setting since 1916, Oxycodone is prescribed to help individuals manage moderate to moderately severe pain. In treating pain, Oxycodone has been found to be a particularly helpful medication.

Unfortunately, Oxycodone has several downsides for patients. Oxycodone is a particularly addictive drug that is notoriously difficult for many individuals to continue using. Available only by prescription, Oxycontin is produced from particular poppy plants and works in a manner similar to other opiates.

There are a variety of drugs that are produced from Oxycodone including OxyContin, Percodan, and Percocet.

In the state of Alabama, Oxycodone is a Schedule II drug. Schedule II drugs are drugs that serve a legitimate medical purpose but are highly addictive and frequently abused.

Charges Involving Oxycontin

There are a variety of potential charges that individuals can face in the state of Alabama involving Oxycodone which involve the following:

  • Illegal Oxycontin Possession. Individuals who are found to possess Oxycodone without a valid prescription can face illegal possession charges
  • Oxycodone Distribution. Individuals who illegally distribute Oxycodone to others in exchange for services or money can face potential charges.
  • Prescription Fraud. Individuals who use fraudulent methods to obtain Oxycodone often end up facing charges from law enforcement.

Punishments For Oxycodone Possession

There are various factors that can influence exactly how Oxycodone possession is punished which include where the possession occurred, whether the charged individual has a prior drug record, or if a minor was involved in the crime.

An experienced Jefferson County criminal defense attorney who will know how to take into consideration each of these elements when crafting a strong defense to an Oxycodone charge.

Defenses To Oxycodone Charges

There are a few particular ways that individuals can defend against an Oxycodone charge in Jefferson County, which include the following:

  • Lack of Knowledge. If an individual can argue that the individual was not aware that Oxycodone was in the individual’s possession then an individual might able to successfully defend against an Oxycodone charge.
  • Prescription Defense. Sometimes individuals are arrested for Oxycodone possession not because the individual lacks a valid Oxycodone prescription but because this individual cannot readily produce a document of a prescription. In these cases, individuals are able to defend against Oxycodone charges by demonstrating that the individual had a valid Oxycodone prescription.

Hydrocodone Charges

Crimes involving hydrocodone in Birmingham result in strict punishments including prison time, social stigma, and substantial fines. Individuals facing hydrocodone charges in the state of Alabama frequently turn to the assistance of a skilled criminal defense attorney who can help defend against potential charges and protect an individual’s rights.

There are also some key pieces of information about hydrocodone charges that individuals in Birmingham should understand to appreciate the seriousness of hydrocodone charges.

The History Of Hydrocodone

Developed in the early 1920s by a German pharmaceutical company, hydrocodone is an opioid intended to reduce moderate to severe pain. Hydrocodone also has a highly addictive nature. While relieving pain, the drug also causes intense euphoria or an intense sensation of happiness.

There was not much legislation regarding drugs like hydrocodone until the 1970s when the Controlled Dangerous Substances Act was passed listing pure hydrocodone as a Schedule II substance. When hydrocodone is combined with other drugs, hydrocodone becomes a Schedule III substance.

Gaining popularity in the late 1970s, Vicodin is one of the most popular hydrocodone based drugs and contains a mixture of hydrocodone and acetaminophen. The use of hydrocodone has resulted in numerous overdose fatalities.

In 2014, the Food and Drug Administration reclassified all hydrocodone products including Norco, Vicodin, and Zohydro ER as Schedule II drugs.

The Role Of Schedule II Drugs in Alabama

Schedule II drugs are a classification of drugs in the state of Alabama that include highly addictive drugs that have an established medical use but can result in substantial addiction problems if used in an abusive manner.

In the state of Alabama, hydrocodone possession is viewed as Class C felony which results in imprisonment from one to ten years and a fine of not more than $15,000.

The state of Alabama places increasingly harsher penalties on individuals who have prior criminal charges. As a result, individuals who have felony conviction charges and face hydrocodone possession charges can face even stricter punishments.

Hydrocodone Possession Charges in Alabama

Individuals in the state of Alabama face a variety of crimes including hydrocodone, which include the following potential charges:

  • Unlawful Possession of Hydrocodone. Possession of hydrocodone is viewed by law enforcement as unlawful when an individual does not have a valid prescription for the drug. The drug need not be in an individual’s immediate possession.
  • Selling Or Transporting Hydrocodone. The transportation of a controlled substance is treated as a serious offense and includes a variety of activities like selling hydrocodone and moving hydrocodone between locations.

Defenses To A Hydrocodone Charge

There are a variety of legal strategies that individuals can implement to fight against hydrocodone charges, which include the following:

  • Illegal Search And Seizure. An illegal search and seizure is one method to defend against a hydrocodone charge. Violations of search and seizure occur when law enforcement searches an individual without a valid search warrant or if law enforcement lack a valid exception to the search warrant requirement.
  • Mistaken Identity. An individual who is able to demonstrate that the hydrocodone in question did not in fact belong to the individual will likely be able to defend against a hydrocodone charge.
  • Valid Prescription. If an individual possesses a legal hydrocodone prescription then an individual cannot be convicted of illegal hydrocodone possession.

Codeine Charges

Used to lessen pain and help coughs, Codeine is a frequently prescribed drug. Derived from an opiate that dulls the senses and has a sedative effect, Codeine is a particularly strong medication. But, like many prescription medications, possession of Codeine without a prescription is a serious drug crime.

As the oldest opiate derivative that was available over the counter, Codeine has been in existence long enough to be used for a variety of medications that are abused and used in an illegal nature by consumers. You should contact a Birmingham drug defense lawyer for help if facing these drug-related charges.

Classification Under The Controlled Substances Act

Codeine is frequently used in combination with other medications and different dosages, which results in Codeine being listed under three schedules.

When Codeine is used in pure form or as a medication that contains 90 mg or more per dose, Codeine is classified as a Schedule II drug and has the potential for drug abuse and addiction.

Lower doses of codeine, however, which is found in Tylenol or cough syrup, are considered Schedule II or V dependent upon the amount of Codeine that the medication contains.

Possession of Codeine in AL

Because Codeine is frequently prescribed for the treatment of pain, many individuals commit possession crimes without being aware of it. The pain-killing element of Codeine is so strong that individuals continue to use more of the drug, eventually leading to addictions.

Another group of consumers find that Codeine creates feelings of overwhelming happiness and take the drug to prolong these feelings. A Codeine possession charge requires law enforcement to demonstrate that an individual unlawfully possessed Codeine, knew of the Codeine’s presence, knew that Codeine was a controlled substance, and possessed a usable amount.

Possession of Codeine can be either actual or constructive. Actual possession occurs when an individual has Codeine in their possession, while constructive possession refers to individuals who have Codeine in a location that is within their control. If you are found in possession of Codeine without a prescription, you will likely be charged with a misdemeanor.

In addition to resulting in criminal charges, Codeine can cause a wide array of significant side effects in individuals including severe depression, hallucinations, kidney and liver damage, lowered blood pressure and heart rate, nausea, and stomach bleeding.

Defending A Codeine Possession Charge

There are several ways that individuals can defend against a Codeine possession charge. Some of the available defenses include that an individual had a valid prescription for Codeine, that an individual did not know they possessed Codeine, or that law enforcement failed to follow procedure and an individual’s constitutional rights were violated during a search.

Penalties For Codeine Possession

Individuals who are charged with possession of Codeine without a prescription face significant penalties. These penalties frequently include several years in prison and a substantial fine. For many individuals who face Codeine charges, the individuals might be able to participate in a drug diversion program which can result in the dismissal of charges.

Aggressive Narcotic Defense

Even if you’re only charged with selling a small amount of drugs, you can still face disproportionately large punishments, thanks to our nation’s hysterical approach to narcotics crimes. If you’re charged with selling drugs in Alabama, it’s vital that you protect your rights by hiring a skilled attorney as soon as possible.

Law enforcement officers aren’t sympathetic to drug defendants; anything you say to them can be used against you later. Don’t say a single word until a lawyer is by your side.

Because drug sales cases can be very high-profile or even career-making, officers don’t always take as much care as they should when building a case. They might use warrantless searches, entrapment or physical violence to get the evidence they need to charge you.

We comb through every drug case to look for these and other mistakes, flaws and violations of clients’ civil rights. We will always aggressively challenge them, because a successful challenge can destroy the case against you, forcing prosecutors to let you go or reduce your charges significantly.

If that’s not possible in your case, we can mount a variety of defenses designed to destroy or cast doubt on the evidence against you. Frequently, drug crimes turn on your intent and your knowledge, which aren’t always easy to prove. If a plea bargain is most appropriate, he will advocate strongly for drug court, alternative sentencing and reduced charges that may better fit the crime.

Because we offer free initial consultations, there’s never any risk in meeting to discuss your options, your rights and the likely outcomes of your case.

If you or someone you care about is facing narcotics sales charges, contact Alabama Criminal Lawyers today at (205) 981-2450 for a free consultation.