Drug Crimes Defense Attorney in Daphne, AL
If you have been arrested on drug charges in Alabama, this is the time to get serious, think about your options, and hire an attorney. While many states take a hard line on drug charges, our state is especially dedicated to prosecuting drug charges and holding people accountable.
Beyond the immediate consequences of a drug crime arrest, you can expect to have fallout from your charges for years or even decades to come. A drug conviction can prevent you from getting your dream job, keep you from volunteering at your children’s school, or hurt you in a family law case.
From possession to trafficking, the team at Coumanis & York defends clients aggressively against all drug charges in Alabama. Contact us immediately at 251-990-3083 if you or someone you love has been arrested.
Substances Commonly Involved in Alabama Drug Crimes
Prosecutors pursue charges for crimes involving any type of illegal drug or legal drug used illegally. You may think you’re safe if your arrest involves a “less serious” drug like marijuana or a legal substance, but do not fall into that trap. Any drug charges are taken extremely seriously in Alabama. Substances that commonly lead to prosecution in this state include:
- Prescription medications
Types of Drug Charges in Alabama
Individuals accused of drug crimes are typically charged for one of four major crimes:
- Marijuana possession. Possession of marijuana is categorized differently from possession of other types of drugs. If you have only enough for personal use, you may be charged with a misdemeanor. If you are arrested after a previous conviction or have more on you than is appropriate for personal use, you face a Class C or D felony.
- Possession is perhaps the most common drug charge. This is what prosecutors pursue if you are found with any amount of any drug besides marijuana. Any amount above a very low limit is a Class D felony, highlighting the severity of drug crimes in Alabama. If you are convicted of being in possession of drug paraphernalia, you face Class A misdemeanor charges.
You can be charged for both actual or constructive possession of the controlled substance:
- Actual drug possession is when the drug is physically on your person, such as in a backpack you’re wearing, a purse, or in your pocket.
- Constructive possession is when the drugs are within the vicinity, meaning you could easily reach the drugs if you desired them. So, if the drugs are found in your car or your home, or you’re near them at a party, you can still be charged with possession.
- Those accused of selling, delivering, or otherwise distributing any substance may face distribution charges and a Class B felony. The same is true for those charged with unlawful possession with intent to sell. However, you face even more serious penalties if you sold to a minor. In this case, you are bumped from a Class B to a Class A felony.
- Producing drugs is a serious crime in Alabama. Your penalties depend on whether you are charged in first or second degree.
- Trafficking charges are reserved for those running full drug operations. These charges are unlikely to be used on a regular small-time dealer. Those who are accused of trafficking typically have ties to the manufacturing, selling, and delivery of illegal or otherwise controlled substances.
Drug Crime Penalties in Alabama
You can look at the specific penalties for each drug charge by finding out what class of misdemeanor or felony it is. A Class A misdemeanor comes with up to one year in prison and a fine as high as $6,000. Class D felonies require between one and five years in prison and fines as high as $7500, which increases to a maximum of 10 years in prison and a $15,000 fine for a Class C felony.
If you are convicted of a Class B felony, plan on spending between two and 20 years in prison and paying fines as high as $30,000. For a Class A felony, prison sentences range from 10 years to life, and fines may be as high as $60,000.
Obviously, there is a huge range for each of these sentencing requirements, allowing for each judge to apply their own discretion. However, no matter what, you face a devastating loss of freedom and serious financial losses if you are convicted of a drug crime in Alabama.
Don’t forget the penalties that lie outside the legal system. In Alabama, a felony conviction follows you for the rest of your life. These is no mechanism to have a felony conviction expunged. This means that any time you try to apply for a job, your employer will find out about your felony when they run a background check. If you apply to rent an apartment, your past will continue to impact your options.
If you want to volunteer for a cause that’s important to you or chaperone your children’s field trips, you run the risk of being excluded if they run background checks. If you end up in a messy custody battle or other family law issues, your past convictions will likely be used against you.
Why You Need an Attorney
This all leads to our main point: you need an attorney if you have been arrested on drug charges in Alabama. Too many people believe they can talk their way out of charges or represent themselves. Prosecutors pursue drug charges aggressively, and you can expect the prosecutor assigned to your case to uncover every piece of evidence they can to prove that you are guilty. Without an extensive knowledge of legal terms, different defense options, and ways to protect yourself, you may as well be a sitting duck in court if you try to defend yourself.
A criminal defense attorney knows these issues and understands how much is at stake for you. They will look at the specific details of your case and explore different defense options. You can expect your attorney to fight fiercely on your behalf, from seeking to have charges dismissed to having evidence suppressed at trial. If you want to protect your rights and your future, an attorney is absolutely necessary after a drug arrest.
Contact Coumanis & York for Your Criminal Defense Needs
With extensive experience in drug crime cases and other areas of criminal defense, the team at Coumanis & York is ready to fight for you as you face this challenging time. Schedule a consultation right away by contacting us online or calling our team at 251-990-3083.