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Drug Trafficking Charges

The most serious level of a drug offense in Alabama is drug trafficking. It brings to mind images of Breaking Bad, Scarface for Miami Vice.

The reality is far different.

In Alabama, for someone to be proven guilty of drug trafficking, the state of Alabama must establish that person was knowingly in possession of over a certain weight or amount of prohibited drugs. There are other ways this crime can be committed, but only having over a certain quantity of drugs is the most common drug trafficking case in Alabama.

The penalties for those convicted of drug trafficking are severe. The minimum sentence is 10 years in prison; every day of three years must be served.  The maximum sentence is 99 years or life in prison. Because the state of Alabama treats this crime so seriously. Anyone accused of trafficking needs to have the best representation possible.

Huntsville Drug Trafficking Lawyer

Law Offices Of Segal & Segal can fight your charges. We'll look for every hole in the prosecution's case and every misstep law enforcement made when gathering evidence and use them to seek to get your charges reduced or dismissed. We will diligently review every aspect of your case and will argue your case in front of a jury if you plead “not guilty.” Call us today at (256) 533-4529 or send an online message for a free consultation to discuss your Huntsville-area trafficking charge with one of our attorneys.

At the Law Offices Of Segal & Segal, we have an understanding of the criminal process from all sides. We've served as prosecutors. Andrew Segal is a former prosecutor with the Alabama Attorney General's Office and the Madison County District Attorney's Office, and Sandra Segal is a former prosecutor for the Huntsville City Attorney's Office. We know how prosecutors operate, because we've been there, and we can put that knowledge to work for you. Furthermore, we practice with honor and integrity, earning the respect of judges, jurors, and even prosecutors. That can make a big difference when we're arguing your case to the jury or negotiating with prosecutors to reduce your charges.

If you've been charged with drug trafficking anywhere in the Huntsville-Decatur area, including in Madison, Morgan, Marshall, Limestone or Jackson County, our drug trafficking attorneys can represent you. We can also represent you if you've been charged in federal court for drug trafficking.


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Alabama Drug Trafficking Information Center


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Defining Drug Trafficking in Alabama

Trafficking is commonly thought of as the act of transporting illegal substances. It is a charge meant to go after the people in charge of narcotics commerce. The kingpins of the industry, those who are either cultivating or manufacturing drugs in mass quantities and moving it into the illegal market, or who are transporting it from other countries where it is grown or produced and onto the streets here. The targets who are presumably making the most money.

However, the way the law is written creates a much looser standard for trafficking. Alabama Code Section 13A-12-231 defines trafficking as selling, manufacturing, delivering, bringing into the state, or even merely possessing certain quantities of drugs. For example, merely possessing 2.2 pounds of marijuana could lead to a trafficking charge, even if a user merely had a large stash that they meant for personal consumption.


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Penalties for Drug Trafficking

All trafficking charges are Class A felonies. For trafficking, Alabama sets mandatory minimum sentences.

Penalties for trafficking depend on the type of substance and the amount alleged to have been in your possession.  If the amount in possession is less than the amount listed, the charge is downgraded to simple possession, distribution, or manufacturing.

Marijuana

Amount (Pounds)

Minimum Prison Time (Years)

Minimum Fine

2.2 – 100

3 years of a 10-year sentence

$25,000

100 – 500

5 years of a 10-year sentence

$50,000

500 – 1,000

15 years of a 10-year sentence

$200,000

1,000 or more

 Mandatory Life sentence

None

Cocaine, MDA/MDMA/Ecstasy, Amphetamines, Meth

Amount (Grams/Kilograms)

Minimum Prison Time (Years)

Minimum Fine

28 g – 500 g

3  years of a 10-year sentence

$50,000

500 g – 1 kg

5  years of a 10-year sentence

$100,000

1 kg – 10 kg

15  years of a 10-year sentence

$250,000

10 kg or more 

 Mandatory Life sentence

None

Morphine/Opium/Heroin, LSD

Amount (Grams)

Minimum Prison Time (Years)

Minimum Fine

4 – 14

3 years of a 10-year sentence

$50,000

14 – 28

10  years to serve, minimum

$100,000

28 – 56

25 years to serve, minimum

$500,000

56 or more

 Mandatory Life sentence

None

Methaqualone (Quaaludes)

Amount (Capsules)

Minimum Prison Time (Years)

Minimum Fine

1,000 – 5,000

3 years of a 10-year sentence

$50,000

5,000 – 25,000

10 years to serve, minimum

$100,000

25,000 – 100,000

25 years to serve, minimum

$500,000

100,000 or more

 Mandatory Life sentence

None

Hydromorphone

Amount (Pills)

Minimum Prison Time (Years)

Minimum Fine

500 – 1,000

3 years of a 10-year sentence

$50,000

1,000 – 4,000

10 years to serve, minimum

$100,000

4,000 – 10,000

25 years to serve, minimum

$500,000

10,000 or more

 Mandatory Life sentence

None

PCP

Amount (Grams)

Minimum Prison Time (Years)

Minimum Fine

4 – 14

3 years of a 10-year sentence

$50,000

14 – 28

5 years to serve, minimum

100,000

28 – 56

15 years to serve, minimum

$500,000

56 or more

Mandatory Life sentence

None

Fentanyl

Amount (Grams)

Minimum Prison Time to serve (Years)

Minimum Fine

1– 1.999

3 years of a 10-year sentence

$50,000

2 – 3.999

3 years of a 10-year sentence

$100,000

4 – 7.999

3 years of a 10-year sentence

$500,000

8 or more

3 years of a 10-year sentence

$750,000

If charged with trafficking, you are ineligible for drug court programs.


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Defenses for Individuals Charged with Drug Trafficking

Trafficking is a major charge, and prosecutors are likely to take charges very seriously and pursue them particularly aggressively. They may even consider this type of case “taking out a drug kingpin.”

The prosecutors have to prove every element of their case “beyond a reasonable doubt,” a tough standard to meet. It basically means that the prosecution must prove that, other than some far-fetched or highly improbable scenario, that what they say happened actually happened. In the case of trafficking, the question may be whether you were legally in possession. Possession doesn't have to mean your actual person. Prosecutors can argue “constructive possession,” meaning they were in a place under your control. Sometimes, prosecutors can take that too far.

They may argue, for example, that a large supply of drugs found in a building on a property you own but don't regularly maintain constitutes constructive possession.

Another question may be the amount. If the prosecution can't prove you possessed 2.2 pounds of marijuana rather than 2.19 pounds, it could change the charges from trafficking to possession. Even possession with intent to distribute is a lesser charge carrying significantly reduced penalties. Your best defense depends on the very specific circumstances of your case. An experienced attorney can look at those specific and help you build your defense.

Additionally, the police must follow a strict procedure when gathering evidence or risk violating your Fourth Amendment rights. If they fail to meet those standards, any evidence they found as a result of an illegal search may be thrown out.


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Providing Defense Options for Drug Trafficking Charges in Huntsville

If you've been charged, you face serious minimum penalties, and you need a serious defense. The dedicated team at Law Offices Of Segal & Segal will fight for your rights. We can represent clients charged with trafficking throughout the Huntsville area, including Decatur, Madison, Athens, and Albertville. Call us today at (256) 533-4529 or send an online message for a free consultation to go over your charges.

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