Drug Trafficking: Possession
By: Whitney Polson, Criminal Defense Lawyer for Alabama Drug Possession Laws
In Alabama, drug trafficking has to do with the quantity or weight of certain controlled substances that a person either sells, delivers, or brings into the state and who is in actual or constructive possession of that drug. Being found with or bringing certain quantities of controlled substances into the state of Alabama can be described as trafficking.
Therefore, law enforcement aggressively prosecutes the charge and the district attorneys' offices around the state aggressively prosecute drug trafficking charges in Alabama. Their reward for a victory at trial are mandatory minimum sentences with a fixed number of years in prison in Alabama.
Due to the severity of this offense and the aggressiveness with which it is prosecuted it is imperative for anyone facing this charge to consult with an experienced Alabama drug trafficking lawyer as soon as possible. An experienced drug attorney can assist in building a defense and mitigating the damage associated with an accusation.Alabama Drug Defense Lawyer Explains Elements of Trafficking
In order to be classified as drug trafficking in Alabama, under state laws, the accused person needs to have either sold, delivered, or transported into Alabama over:
- 2.2 pounds of marijuana 28 grams of cocaine, four grams of morphine or heroin, 28 grams of methamphetamine, or four grams of LSD 500-1,000 pills. Possession of more than 500 grams of cocaine can cost you many years in state prison if convicted.
These amounts for state criminal charges are also classifications that exist under federal laws. Federal laws have concurrent jurisdiction with state law. By crossing state lines, dual prosecutions could be brought.
One of the most vital legal services for criminal defense lawyers fighting the crime of unlawful possession or drug trafficking is to try to have the federal case not be pursued, in favor of letting the State of Alabama handle it.
Often in Alabama, a charge that is associated with drug trafficking includes possession of a firearm. The presence of a weapon increases the mandatory sentence up to five (5) additional years.
Sometimes, simple traffic violations may lead to a drug trafficking prosecution where someone is stopped for an expired tag or improper tag light. The law enforcement agency searches and ultimately finds a large quantity of a controlled substance. Having any quantity of prescription drugs outside their proper container is a crime, just like possessing such controlled, prescribed medications when you lack a prescription.Prosecution of the Drug Possession Charge
Two main ways exist for how Alabama law enforcement tries to crack down on drug trafficking. First are the interstate drug and addiction units that have highly-trained and specialized law enforcement officers and canine units that patrol the interstates that intersect through the state of Alabama, such as I-65, I-85, and I-20, which are corridors from drug producing states such as Texas and Florida.
Possession of marijuana still leads all arrests for a drug offense in Alabama. The drug-sniffing dogs alert quickly for marijuana. However, an AL weed lawyer usually deals with only state laws for such possession cases.
Possessing a small quantity of pot for personal use is a Class A misdemeanor, but this is the most serious level of misdemeanor in Alabama. This is possession in the second degree. Plus, Class A misdemeanors permit a judge to sentence that person (if convicted) to not more than a year in a county jail or city jail, plus up to a fine of as much as six thousand dollars.
The other way that law enforcement in Alabama cracks down on drug trafficking is by developing low-level sources such as people that are caught to be in possession or smaller quantities of possession with intent to distribute and trying to turn them into confidential informants to get to the higher levels of the actual drug traffickers.Class C Felony Drug Cases Multiple Defendants
In almost all drug trafficking cases in Alabama, multiple defendants are involved. Typically, law enforcement only has contact with one person transporting the controlled substance. But at that point in time, depending on the cooperation of the defendant, it can be found that multiple other parties are involved in the organization.
In drug trafficking cases in Alabama with multiple defendants, the inclusion of other defendants can impact the case by cooperation agreements. Many times, the first person to cooperate gets mitigated sentences or lessened sentences versus the persons that decide not to cooperate and take their chances at trial, who, if convicted, face higher penalties.
So, early action by your AL drug attorney may garner a lighter sentence for our client under the drug court program in Alabama. An AL drug court can also permit reduction of your charge to possession and not trafficking.
Therefore, if there are multiple defendants, it is important to have an Alabama drug trafficking lawyer present and negotiate with the district attorney and with the state to try to mitigate penalties or possibly even be granted immunity from prosecution in their cooperation in prosecuting the case.The Benefits of Hiring a Top-Rated Alabama Drug Defense Attorney
It is very important to understand that drug trafficking charges in Alabama carry a minimum mandatory prison sentence. Therefore, the quality of legal services is critically important in such cases. The best criminal defense attorneys are you best “buffer” between drug charges and a state prison cell.
Hiring an experienced and knowledgeable Alabama drug trafficking attorney like Mark Polson is a very smart move. Criminal lawyer near me Mark brings over 45 years as an Alabama drugs lawyer to the table. Our law group covers the entire state of Alabama, when our expertise in criminal law is needed.
Experienced legal representation is of paramount importance for anyone facing a drug trafficking charge in Alabama. Probation is not an option when facing these types of serious drug offenses. One viable option and (in many cases defended by our law firm) a proven way to avoid a prison sentence is by hiring an experienced drug crime attorney.
Mountain Brook resident Whitney Polson is also a Possession of a Controlled Substance Alabama Drug Crime Lawyer. If police implied consent drug tests reveal the presence of a controlled substance in your blood, the punishments can be harsher than for drunk driving. To hire a DUI lawyer, contact the Polson Law Firm for any Birmingham metro city cases, like Pelham, Alabaster, Vestavia Hills, Homewood or other areas of the State.
Always a FREE lawyer consultation. If needed in the days following the pandemic, ask our law office about payment plans. Call today 24-7 at (205) 871-8838 for legal assistance.
Acting quickly is highly important for best results. This allows our legal team to assist in getting a bond approved and counseling our client to remain silent and NOT make phone calls on any jail phones (which are recorded by the detention facility). If our law office reaches an agreement to handle your case, our attorneys in Alabama will review the services to be performed.