What should you know about drug charges sentencing in Alabama?

On Behalf of | Dec 23, 2022 | Criminal Defense |

The state of Alabama takes drug charges very seriously. Depending on your specific charge, you may face twenty years to life in prison. Courts take into account a variety of criteria when providing sentencing, including your past history, intentions during possession and the type of drug involved.

Marijuana possession

Drug violations involving marijuana for personal use often result in a Class A misdemeanor in Alabama. Sentencing for Class A misdemeanors may include a year in county jail and $6,000 in fines.

Only the first marijuana for personal use charge results in a misdemeanor charge. Additional charges may result in a Class C felony.

Felony drug charges

Felony charges in Alabama for drugs range from Class C felonies up to Class A felonies. These charges apply to any illegal controlled substance other than marijuana as well as misuse of prescription drugs.

The minimum fines and prison time for each felony drug charge include:

• Class A felonies: 10 years to life in prison and up to $60,000 in fines

• Class B felonies: 2 to 20 years in prison and up to $30,000 in fines

• Class C felonies: one year to 10 years in prison and up to $15,000 in fines

• Class D felonies: one to five years in prison and up to $7,500 in fines

Distribution and trafficking

Alabama punishes distribution and trafficking severely. Even your first charge can result in a Class A felony and life in prison. In Alabama, you may face charges of distribution and trafficking based solely on the amount of a drug you possess.

Long-term consequences of drug convictions

Drug convictions may stay with you for the rest of your life and affect the types of jobs you hold. While Alabama law offers severe punishments, many of the drug laws provide enough vague interpretation that your defense may involve arguing your charges down to a lesser classification or complete dismissal.