Not only are drugs outlawed in Alabama but also tools or items that a person can use to consume, store, sell or produce controlled substances. In other words, a police officer can arrest you if they find you with a pipe, grinder, scale or bong whether you are using it or not.
Alabama drug paraphernalia laws
Alabama Code Sec. 13A-12-260 states that it is illegal to sell, possess or give away any type of drug paraphernalia. Lawmakers believe that possession of these items clearly indicates the likelihood of drug violations like selling or abusing illegal substances. Therefore, if caught with such items, the state will likely charge you with a class A misdemeanor, which is one step below a felony offense.
Penalties for possession of drug paraphernalia
An individual might spend up to 12 months in prison and pay fines of up to $6,000 when caught with drug paraphernalia. Furthermore, if law enforcement sees a person possessing drug paraphernalia within 1,000 feet of an educational institution or school bus stop, they will face harsher penalties; this could include elevated fines and longer jail sentences.
The sale of drug paraphernalia is even more serious. It’s punishable by a class C felony charge, which can mean up to 10 years in jail and fines of up to $15,000.
For the court to convict you of drug paraphernalia possession, the prosecution must prove that you knew you were in possession of such items. This can be difficult to do. If a person can show that they didn’t know what the item was and had no intention of using it for an illegal purpose, then the judge might reduce or drop their charges altogether.
Additionally, law enforcement must conduct a lawful search and seizure of the item in question before arresting you. If you can prove they did not follow the proper procedures, the court may drop any charges related to drug paraphernalia because the officers violated your Fourth Amendment right.
Alabama takes any conviction involving drugs and drug paraphernalia very seriously. Even if a person did not have any intention to use the item for an illegal purpose, they could still face some problems with law enforcement. Therefore, it’s important to know Alabama’s laws on drug paraphernalia to protect yourself and your rights.