Drug possession charges are serious allegations, regardless of whether you are accused of possession of drug paraphernalia or possession of meth. Upon being arrested for actual or constructive possession of a controlled drug, you will likely face felony drug charges.
Misdemeanor charges result only in a few possession situations. A felony conviction could lead to years behind bars, years of probation, costly fines, and when you are free, problems finding employment and moving ahead with your life.
If you did not realize that your roommate’s drugs were in your vehicle but law enforcement has arrested you, it would be advisable to consult a competent attorney as soon as you can. A skilled drug possession lawyer in AL can defend you against these allegations and fight to win the most favorable result in your case.
What is Possession?
A person found with drugs can be charged with actual or constructive possession of drugs. Actual possession takes place when the drugs are on your person, such as in a backpack you are wearing or in your pocket.
Constructive possession implies that drugs were near you and within your control. If you wanted, you could easily access the drugs. The prosecution may claim that you had constructive possession of one or more controlled substances if they were found in your vehicle.
You should consult a drug possession attorney regarding whether the prosecution is claiming that you had actual or constructive possession of drugs. In many cases, prosecutors allege that you had possession of a controlled substance as they were in the vicinity. However, we know that they may have belonged to someone else.
You might be in a friend’s vehicle or a roommate may have brought the controlled substance into your car without you being aware of it. A qualified AL drug possession lawyer can aggressively argue, gather proof, and defend you against charges of constructive possession of a controlled substance.
Misdemeanor or Felony Drug Possession Charge Defense
Upon being accused of possessing illegal substances, you should talk to a drug possession attorney about the most robust defense possible under the circumstances. Depending on the situation, your lawyer may argue:
- You did not have actual or constructive possession of the controlled substance
- You lacked awareness that the substance was in your vehicle
- You were stopped in an unconstitutional manner
- You were subject to an unconstitutional search and seizure
- You were subject to unlawful interrogation
- An incorrect test lead to a false positive for a drug
Drugs Belong to Your Roommate
A strong defense to any crime charge is to simply state that you did not do it. Upon being arrested for drug possession, you can say that the drugs do not belong to you or you weren’t aware of their presence in your vehicle. A seasoned defense lawyer will challenge prosecutors to prove that the substance found in the vehicle belonged to you.
Unconstitutional Search and Seizure
Under the Fourth Amendment to the US Constitution, citizens are guaranteed the right to due process of law, including legal search and seizure before an arrest. Matters related to search and seizure matters are common for defenses pertaining to drug possession.
Controlled substances, found in “plain view,” such as a vehicle’s dashboard after a legal traffic stop, may be seized and used as proof. However, drugs located in a vehicle’s trunk after forcing it open with a crowbar (assuming the suspect did not give permission) cannot be entered into as evidence. In case the Fourth Amendment rights of the defendant were violated, then the drugs cannot be used at trial and the charges are often dropped.
Drug Possession Laws in Alabama
Unless you hold a valid prescription or other authorization, possession of a controlled substance is unlawful. In the state of AL, you commit a Class D felony if you illegally possess a controlled substance in Schedules I through V, or if you use deceit, subterfuge, misrepresentation, or fraud; make changes to a prescription; or provide a false name and address to acquire a precursor chemical or a controlled substance.
In comparison to other controlled substances, marijuana is treated in a distinct way. Under AL law, marijuana possession for personal use only is a Class A misdemeanor. This is called possession of marijuana in the second degree.
If you possess marijuana for something besides personal use, you can be charged with a Class C felony. You could be charged with a Class D felony if you possess marijuana for personal use but have been convicted of a marijuana crime in the past. Talk to a skilled and knowledgeable drug possession lawyer immediately to understand the level of the charge you will face if you are caught with drugs, or if drugs were located in your vehicle.
Contact Experienced Alabama Drug Defense Attorneys
A strong defense is necessary if you have been charged with a narcotics-related crime in AL. Law enforcement makes mistakes, which makes it possible to fight these cases. Sometimes, the evidence is insufficient. In other cases, the stop or arrest was unlawful. A seasoned criminal defense lawyer can zero-in on the weaknesses of the case against you and expose them.
The drug possession lawyers at the Zach Peagler Law Firm are well-versed in handling any type of charge pertaining to illegal substances or narcotics. We will fight tirelessly all the way to the jury if you decide to plead “not guilty.” At the same time, we will ensure that you understand your options, allowing you to make the most appropriate choice for yourself. For a no-obligation consultation with a skilled criminal defense attorney, call today at (205) 871-9990.