Cocaine is made from the coca plant, commonly injected, snorted, or smoked. Since it is highly addictive, many states have laws regulating its use. People in Birmingham, Alabama usually face stiff penalties for buying, selling, or manufacturing cocaine.
Overview of Alabama drug laws
Cocaine is a controlled substance, which means it is tightly controlled by the government because of its dangers. Congress passed the Controlled Substances Act in 1970 upon learning the effects and abuse risks of certain drugs. The CSA groups drugs into five categories, Schedules I to V, according to how addictive they are.
While Alabama Schedules are close to the federal drug schedules, they are subject to change to include new synthetics. Schedule I substances, such as LSD and heroin, are the most addictive with no established medical use.
Cocaine is listed under Schedule II. These drugs are considered dangerous but may have some medical value. To challenge cocaine charges, the criminal defense may argue the search was illegal or the substance isn’t cocaine.
Possessing any amount of cocaine for personal use commonly carries penalties of a $6,000 fine and up to one year of jail. Possessing cocaine for reasons other than personal use includes a maximum $10,000 fine and up to ten years of jail.
Possessing drug paraphernalia with the intent to use, such as bongs, includes penalties of a $6,000 fine and one year of jail. The penalty for trafficking 28 to 500 grams of cocaine is a $50,000 fine and up to three years of jail. If the defendant is a habitual offender, a Class C felony is charged as Class B and Class B as Class A.
Drug charges can affect the future of the one charged. However, it is possible to try for a plea deal for a first offense.