Drug distribution is defined in Alabama when a person is in possession of a controlled substance and proceeds to sell, furnish, give away, deliver, or distribute the controlled substance to another person. Defending this kind of charge requires experience and knowledge of the Alabama drug distribution defense attorney. For example, a variety of constitutional issues come up in a drug distribution case in Alabama such as due process, confrontation clause, and search and seizure issues.
If you are facing distribution charges, it is vital to enlist the help of an Alabama drug distribution lawyer right away, in order to mitigate the severe penalties of a conviction.Aggravating Factors
In Alabama, a drug distribution charge in and of itself is a very serious offense of a Class B Misdemeanor, meaning the range of punishment is from 2 to 20 years. However, if anyone over the age of 18 sells, furnishes, or gives away a controlled substance to a person under the age of 18, the distribution charge automatically becomes a Class A Felony and the imposition or execution of the sentence cannot be suspended or replaced on probation.
This means that the person faces a minimum mandatory 10 years to life in the state penitentiary. Additionally, the sale or distribution of the controlled substance within a school zone has a five-year minimum incarceration period that is added to the underlying offense.
Law enforcement in Alabama handles drug distribution in a very serious way, particularly law enforcement around schools and universities. Schools and universities typically have a wide range of drug distribution prosecutions. As such there ends up being a lot of cooperation agreements where students or folks in the community try to make their own cases go away by cooperating with the government.Confidential Informants
In Alabama, many times, the prosecution uses evidence from confidential informants to prove and prosecute drug distribution charges. This would include covertly made audio or video recordings of the buy-sell transaction between the confidential informant and the defendant.
In Alabama, when the drug distribution charge goes to trial, whether the identity of the confidential informant should be revealed, as the individual that is the basis of the evidence for the charge, is highly contested. The state attorney’s office very rarely discloses this information up until they put them on the witness stand at trial, meaning that there is a vigorous cross-examination of the confidential informant and the discrediting of their reliability as a witness.Qualities of an Attorney
When someone is looking and selecting a drug distribution attorney in Alabama to represent them in a drug distribution charge, they should always look for the experience of that particular law. Unfortunately many lawyers will go about taking these type of cases when they have never actually gone on a trial in a distribution case which unfortunately leads to a lot of plea deals and folks going to jail. An Alabama drug distribution lawyer should be willing to go to trial and a person selecting a lawyer should ask about the experience of that particular lawyer and, how many drug distribution cases they have actually gone to trial on.