Possession of drugs is the least serious narcotics crime defined by Alabama state law. However, it's still a serious crime, with simple possession of any non-marijuana drug classified as a Class C felony and punished with one to ten years in state prison. Marijuana possession is also a Class C felony on a repeat offense, or if law enforcement believes it was not just for personal use. (For more on marijuana, see our marijuana possession page.) The punishments become much more draconian if law enforcement "stacks" charges related to manufacture or cultivation, sales or trafficking. If you're facing a drug possession charge in Alabama, you need help from an experienced drug crimes defense lawyer like Steven Eversole.
Steven Eversole aggressively defends clients in Birmingham and throughout Alabama from serious state and federal drug-possession charges.
Drug Possession Charges
Both the State of Alabama and the U.S. government prohibit possession of controlled substances, although their laws differ slightly. You can be charged by either government, or even both, for the same possession crime. You're more likely to go to federal district court if you're charged with possessing a large amount, crossing state lines, large-scale trafficking or possessing drugs on federal property.
Possession is the most frequently charged drug crime in Alabama. Under Alabama law, you can be charged with illegal possession of a controlled substance if you possess any drug listed in Alabama's state Schedules I through V. This includes legal prescription drugs for which you can't show a valid prescription, as well as illegal or street drugs like methamphetamine and heroin.
Under federal law, it's illegal to knowingly or intentionally possess a controlled substance, unless you have authorization from a doctor or another professional. Simple possession of most drugs can land you in federal prison for up to a year on the first offense, up to two years on the second offense, and up to three years for any subsequent offenses. However, possession of a substance containing cocaine carries a sentence of 5 to 20 years, and flunitrazepam (Rophynol, also known as "roofies") draws three years for the first offense. Under the law, the federal government may also confiscate any property it believes was used in the crime or acquired with profits from the crime, and fine you for the cost of investigating and prosecuting the crime.
Drug Possession Defenses
Frequently, a possession charge alleges you possessed the drugs because they were under your control, but not actually on your person. This is called "constructive possession" by lawyers. If law enforcement finds drugs in your car, your home or other property, they may charge you with constructive possession -- but they must still prove you were aware of the drug's presence, and that you knew it was an illegal drug. Merely finding a drug in the back of your closet isn't enough to justify a conviction.
After becoming your lawyer, Steven Eversole will comb through your case to find these types of unproven assertions, mistakes and violations of your civil rights, such as:
- A search without probable cause or permission
- Not stopping an interrogation when you asked for a lawyer
- Failing to read you your rights (Mirandize)
- Interrogation under duress or with use of physical force
- Prosecution withholding evidence
These and other serious violations can destroy the case against you, allowing Steven Eversole to get your charges dismissed or substantially reduced. If that's not possible in your case, he is prepared to use flaws and mistakes in the case against you to negotiate a better deal with prosecutors than you might get on your own. Remember, in order to convict you, the prosecution must prove its case beyond a reasonable doubt. Don't plead guilty unless you're sure they can meet that burden. Call Steven Eversole for a free consultation, at which he can tell you about your rights, your legal options and the most likely outcomes of your case.
If you or someone you care about faces drug possession charges in Alabama, call Steven Eversole today at 1-866-831-5292, or (205) 994-0616 in Birmingham, for a free evaluation of your case.