How a prosecutor proves drug cultivation or manufacturing

On Behalf of | Jun 20, 2023 | Criminal Defense |

Cultivating marijuana or manufacturing other controlled substances in Alabama results in harsher criminal charges and penalties than simple possession. The law takes this harsh view of drug production because it enables drug use for profit. As a more serious level of offense, prosecutors face tougher standards to prove that a defendant committed the crime of drug manufacturing instead of the lesser charge of possession. Evidence must illustrate that you possessed the illegal substance and participated in its manufacturing.

Drug manufacturing or intent to manufacture

Law enforcement must find you possessing the illicit drug or other controlled substances used to manufacture an illicit drug. You need not have produced any drugs if authorities can show that you intended to produce the illegal substance.

Whether your alleged produced drugs or were getting set up to do so, evidence for an intent to manufacture drugs comes from the equipment and materials necessary to make the drugs. For the production of methamphetamine, this could mean possessing laboratory equipment along with the precursor chemicals used to create the final product. Similarly, drug violations apply to growing marijuana if you have lighting equipment, pots and other equipment needed to process the crop.

Any participation in drug manufacturing counts against you

People remain vulnerable to drug manufacturing charges even if they did not perform every step. Someone found possessing chemicals related to methamphetamine production, without a permit or license for legitimate use of the substances, could stand accused of supporting a drug manufacturing operation.

In another example, authorities would view a person who packages the finished product, even without making it, as participating in drug manufacturing. Prosecutors generally charge any of these contributing activities as felonies.