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Drug Possession Charges

It may seem unbelievable that a state could punish a person as harshly as it would for assaulting a person with a deadly weapon or sexual abuse as it would for merely possessing a substance for their own personal use. However, we have a “War on Drugs” in this country, and the state of Alabama takes that war very seriously. A conviction for possession of a controlled substance has very severe consequences.

Huntsville Drug Possession Arrest Lawyer

If you've been charged with possessing illegal substances in the Huntsville-Decatur area, you'll want a strong defense. Our experienced lawyers at Law Offices Of Segal & Segal can help you build that defense. We will look for mistakes in police procedure and holes in the prosecution's case, seeking to get your charges reduced or dismissed. We can fight your charges in front of the jury, and can also help you look at options like drug court. Call us today at (256) 533-4529 or send an online message to set up a free consultation so we can discuss your charges.

We understand the criminal court at Law Offices Of Segal & Segal, from all perspectives. Andrew Segal is a former prosecutor for the Alabama Attorney General and Madison County District Attorney. Sandra Segal is a former prosecutor for the Huntsville City Attorney's Office. We practice with honor and integrity, which is why judges, juries and even prosecutors respect us. That can go a long way when we're negotiating to reduce your charges or arguing your case in front of a jury.

If you've been charged with possessing an illegal substance anywhere around Huntsville, including Madison, Morgan, Marshall, Limestone or Jackson County, call the experienced drug lawyers at Law Offices Of Segal & Segal.

Alabama Laws Regarding Possession of Controlled Substances

Defining Drug Possession Charges

Alabama law lists controlled substances in Title 20, Chapter 2. The list includes nearly any illicit substance imaginable, including:

  • Cocaine/crack;
  • Heroin;
  • Methamphetamines or meth;
  • LSD;
  • Ecstasy; and
  • Mescaline.

The law also lists prescription narcotics. For some prescription drugs, like codeine, it is not a crime to have below a certain amount. Prescription narcotics may be possessed with a prescription. Another part of the code bans synthetic drugs, like bath salts and spice.

While marijuana possession is a crime, it's been separated so that an amount for personal use is a lesser offense. However, possession of any other substance is a serious offense: a Class C felony.

Possession does not have to mean that police caught you with the narcotics in your hand or pocket. Prosecutors can argue “constructive possession” so that you may have legally possessed the substance if it was anywhere under your control. For instance, a prosecutor could successfully argue that you possessed narcotics if they were in a glove compartment of your car, in a drawer in your house or in a bag that in the luggage compartment of a mass transit vehicle.

What are the Penalties for Possessing a Controlled Substance in Madison County?

A Class C felony is a serious offense in Alabama. You will be sentenced to at least one year and one day in prison, and as many as 10 years. There is also up to a $15,000 fine. You will also have your driver's license suspended.

If charged with possessing an illegal substance, you may be eligible for drug court. All counties in the Huntsville-Decatur area have a dedicated drug court. The drug court exists to help narcotic offenders get help for addiction to narcotics while avoiding incarceration. To be eligible, you cannot have been convicted of a violent felony, be registered as a sex offender, or have a violent felony or sex offense case pending against you.

If you are a first-time offender, or have a light criminal record, you may also qualify for a pretrial intervention program. An experienced criminal defense attorney can help you determine whether drug court or a pretrial intervention program in Madison County is an option you want to pursue.

Defenses to Drug Possession Charges

Although “constructive possession” means prosecutors can argue you were in possession of narcotics you were not physically touching, prosecutors can sometimes take the concept too far and charge you when they find narcotics in an area you may have not had control over. To convict you, prosecutors must prove all elements of their case “beyond a reasonable doubt.” That means they must prove to the jury that, save some far-fetched or improbable scenario, what they present is what happened.

That's a tough standard. It's one that Huntsville-area prosecutors are able to meet on a regular basis, though. A Huntsville narcotic possession lawyer can find every hole in the case and exploit it.

To find narcotics in your possession, police often must search you or your possessions. To do that without a warrant, they must meet stringent reasonable suspicion and probable cause requirements. If they fail to meet those and conduct the search anyway, the evidence they find could get thrown out, which could have a positive effect on your case. An experienced Huntsville drug arrest lawyer could find the mistakes and move to have the evidence thrown out.

Finding a Qualified Madison County Attorney for Drug Possession Charges

If you've been charged with possessing an illegal substance in and around Huntsville, call the experienced narcotic possession lawyers at Law Offices Of Segal & Segal. We'll fight for your rights and will seek to get your charges reduced or dismissed, and we'll argue your case to the jury if you plead “not guilty.” If you've been charged in Decatur, Madison, Athens, Albertville or any of the surrounding area, call us today to set up a free consultation.