In Huntsville, there are harsh penalties for possession of nearly any controlled substance: more than a year in jail, making possession a felony. There is one exception: marijuana. Marijuana, often called pot or weed, is very common — the most used illegal substance in the United States, and in Huntsville.
While marijuana is a natural product that is seen as having fewer harmful effects and a lesser risk of dependency than other “hard ” drugs, its possession is a crime in Alabama and is prosecuted vigorously. Alabama makes possession of marijuana in an amount for “personal use” a misdemeanor.
“Personal use” is never defined, and is left up to the prosecutor's judgment whether to charge you with a felony or misdemeanor. Although a lesser charge than you might get with possession of other controlled substances, weed possession still carries severe consequences that could change your life. You should be prepared with a strong defense to fight the charges.
Madison County AL Misdemeanor Marijuana Arrest Lawyer
Our attorneys at Law Offices Of Segal & Segal can help you build that strong defense. We're here to fight for your rights. We will look for weaknesses in the prosecution's case and missteps by the police, and use those to seek to get your charges dismissed. We'll also make sure you are aware of all of your options, like whether you might be eligible for a first-time offender program, pretrial intervention or drug court. Call us today at (256) 533-4529 or send an online message to set up a free consultation where we can go over your charges.
We are experienced in the drug courts, from both perspectives. Both of us have been prosecutors —Andrew Segal for the Alabama Attorney General's Office and the Madison County District Attorney's Office, and Sandra Segal for the Huntsville City Attorney's Office. We understand the mind of a prosecutor because we've been there. We also practice with honor and integrity, which means that juries, judges and even prosecutors respect us — something that can make a big difference when we're negotiating with prosecutors or making our case to the jury.
We are proud to serve clients with misdemeanor marijuana possession charges throughout the Huntsville-Decatur area, including in Madison County, Morgan County, Marshall County, Limestone County, and Jackson County.
Information on Alabama Marijuana Possession Laws
Misdemeanor possession of marijuana
a) A person commits the crime of unlawful possession of marihuana in the second degree if, except as otherwise authorized, he possesses marihuana for his personal use only.
(b) Unlawful possession of marihuana in the second degree is a Class A misdemeanor.
Under Alabama law, the maximum punishment is one year in jail and a fine as high as $6000.
Alabama Code Title 13A. Criminal Code § 13A-12-214
- Personal Use and Other Related Definitions
- Criminal Penalties Issued Upon Conviction
- Attorneys Helping You Fight Misdemeanor Marijuana Charges
Alabama Code Section 13A-12-214 lays out the charge of for Unlawful Possession of Marihuana in the Second Degree, a Class A misdemeanor. It says someone commits the crime if, unless “otherwise authorized, he (or she) possesses marihuana for his (or her) personal use only.”
“Personal use” is never defined in the law. Ultimately, it's a matter up to the discretion of the prosecutor, who will determine whether, among other things, he or she has enough evidence to prove to a jury beyond a reasonable doubt that the amount of marijuana you possessed was more than the amount one would carry for personal use. If so, he or she might charge you with a felony. If not, he or she will most likely pursue misdemeanor charges.
Also, “possession” does not necessarily mean that the cannabis was found on your person, like in your pocket or in your hand. Prosecutors can argue “constructive possession” if it was found in a place that was under your control, like the glove compartment of your car, in a drawer in your house or in a piece of luggage.
Potential penalties for misdemeanor charges are less serious than felony possession charges, but they are still severe. A Class A misdemeanor charge carries penalties of up to a year in jail and a fine up to $6,000. You will also get your driver's license suspended. Those won't be the end of the consequences, though.
The drug conviction may show up in background checks, and while marijuana use may be common, it still has negative connotations to some people. A potential employer may see the charge and think “burn out” or “lazy.” It could also hinder your chances to get into the higher education institution of your choice.
If you're charged with misdemeanor possession, you may be eligible for first-time offenders program, pretrial intervention or drug court. There are specific programs designed to help rehabilitate drug offenders. If you have no prior violent crime or sex crime convictions, and no pending violent or sex offense charges, you may be eligible for pretrial intervention or drug court if charged with misdemeanor possession. while these programs are stringent bail out for your charges to be dismissed if the programs are successfully completed. This means no conviction on your record. A marijuana defense lawyer can help you determine whether drug court is the best option for you.
If you've been charged with misdemeanor marijuana possession, our lawyers can help. We will look for police missteps and seek to have evidence thrown out if it was the result of an illegal search. We will help you look at options like drug court. We'll fight for your rights. If you've been charged anywhere around Huntsville, including Decatur, Madison, Athens or Albertville, call us today at (256) 533-4529 or send an online message to set up a free consultation.