Drug Crime Sentences

Veteran Birmingham Criminal Defense Lawyer Committed to Defending the Rights of Individuals Facing Felony Drug Charges

Alabama police, prosecutors and judges all take an aggressive stance when it comes to drug crimes. As do the state’s lawmakers, who enacted harsh laws that require judges to impose severe drug crime sentences, even if you’re facing your first conviction. However, an experienced Birmingham drug crimes lawyer can effectively gather and present mitigating information that encourages a judge to use their discretion to your benefit.

At the Stoves Law Firm, P.C., we understand that there are varying definitions of success when it comes to criminal cases. While most cases can be fought—and many won—in some situations, the government’s case is simply too strong, and it may be in your best interest to focus on securing the best possible sentence. Attorney Jason Stove has more than 25 years of hands-on experience successfully advocating on behalf of clients facing lengthy prison sentences, helping them minimize their exposure and secure the best possible sentence.

Alabama’s Drug Crime Sentencing Law

Alabama’s drug crime sentencing laws reflect a strict stance on drug offenses, designed to reduce narcotics use and transactions and punish those involved. The state classifies controlled substances into different schedules (Schedules I through Schedule V), with Schedule I drugs (such as heroin, LSD, and methamphetamine) being considered the most dangerous and having the highest potential for abuse. The possible penalties for drug offenses in Alabama typically depend on the type and quantity of the controlled substance involved, as well as your criminal record.

There are several types of drug offenses in Alabama.

Possession of a Controlled Substance

Possession of a controlled substance involves possessing drugs for personal use. For instance, possession of any Scheduled substance, other than marijuana, is a Class D felony, punishable by up to 5 years in prison. Possession of marijuana for personal use, on the other hand, is considered a Class A misdemeanor, which may result in up to a year in jail.

Unlawful Distribution and Possession with Intent to Distribute

The crimes of unlawful distribution and possession with intent to distribute are similar but distinct offenses. Unlawful distribution refers to the actual sale of narcotics, while possession with intent to distribute comes into play if you possess more than a certain amount of a specific drug. Both possession with intent to distribute and unlawful distribution are classified as Class B felonies, carrying a possible prison sentence between two to 12 years and a fine of up to $30,000.

Drug Trafficking

Drug trafficking involves the manufacture, sale or transit of a large amount of narcotics. These offenses carry mandatory minimum sentences that are exceptionally harsh. For example, trafficking in cannabis, cocaine, heroin, or methamphetamine can result in a minimum prison sentence of three years and a significant fine, with the penalties escalating based on the weight of the drugs involved. In some cases, a drug trafficking conviction carries a mandatory life sentence.

Possession of Drug Paraphernalia

Drug paraphernalia refers to any equipment, product, or material that is used or intended for use in planting, cultivating, growing, manufacturing, processing, preparing, packaging, storing, concealing, or ingesting a controlled substance. Under Alabama law, possession of drug paraphernalia is considered a Class A misdemeanor, which can result in up to a year in jail and fines. The law also provides for enhanced penalties if the paraphernalia was used to manufacture a controlled substance, in which case the offense becomes a Class C felony.

How a Birmingham Drug Crimes Lawyer Can Help Secure the Best Possible Sentence

A Birmingham drug crimes lawyer can play a crucial role in negotiating a favorable plea agreement if you are facing drug charges. Attorney Jason Stoves has in-depth knowledge of Alabama’s drug laws, allowing him to effectively negotiate with prosecutors in hopes of reducing the severity of the penalties you could face. To do this, we leverage our knowledge of the legal system to highlight weaknesses in the prosecution’s case, such as evidentiary issues or procedural errors, to secure a more lenient sentence or even dismiss charges. In many cases, we’ve arranged for alternatives to incarceration, like drug treatment programs or probation, especially for first-time or non-violent offenders.

Are You Charged with a Felony Drug Crime in Birmingham?

If you are facing serious drug charges, you need a serious criminal defense attorney. At the Stoves Law Firm, P.C., we take an aggressive approach to defending clients charged with drug possession, distribution and trafficking. While our focus is always on securing an acquittal, we recognize that you may want to avoid the risk of a trial. Thus, we are also skilled at strategically situating your case for a favorable plea agreement if that’s in your best interest. To learn more, and to schedule a free consultation today, call the Stoves Law Firm, P.C. at (205) 823-7233, or you can connect with us through our secure online contact form.   

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