What should you expect following an arrest? Whether you were taken into custody because of drug possession,drug trafficking, or driving under the influence of drugs, the procedure will stay relatively similar. It is not only important to understand the legal system so that you know what to expect, but so that you will know if your rights have been violated. Since 1966, peace officers have been required to read arrestees their Miranda Rights. These rights include the right to remain silent, the right to talk to an attorney, and the right to have an attorney supplied to you if you cannot afford an attorney.
You may have to be subjected to a search so determine if you are carrying drugs, incriminating evidence, or a concealed weapon. Your personal possessions will be taken from you and then the booking process will begin. You will be required to provide your personal information and your fingerprint and photograph will be taken. It is important to remember that since you have the right to a speedy trial, the prosecution will have only 72 hours in which to formally bring the drug charges against you.
Penalties for a Drug Crime
Another important element of a drug crime case is the possible penalties you could be facing. In Alabama, drug crimes are taken very seriously. All convictions besides that of marijuana possession carry heavy penalties. Drug crimes are either felonies or misdemeanors and are further broken down in each category. The amount of drugs involved, the type of drugs, and the aggravating factors of the case will determine whether or not the crime is a felony or a misdemeanor.
A Class C misdemeanor could result in up to three months in county jail and a $500 fine. A Class B misdemeanor carries a jail sentence of up to six months and fines of up to $3,000. The most serious types of misdemeanor is a Class A misdemeanor and this could lead to a year in county jail and a $6,000 fine. If a deadly weapon was used in the drug crime, the charges will increase to a Class B or Class C felony and the individual could be put in prison for a minimum of ten years. See the chart below to see the penalties for felony crimes:
- Class C Felony: Maximum $6,000 fine and 10 years in prison
- Class B Felony: Maximum $30,000 fine and 20 years in prison
- Class A Felony with a Deadly Weapon: Minimum of 20 years in prison
- Class A Felony: Maximum $60,000 fine and up to life imprisonment
Our team at Eversole Law, LLC is committed to helping you avoid these harsh penalties. One effective way of doing this is through alternative sentencing. This is available in Alabama for those who have been charged with a non-violent crime or first drug offense. This, however, is not a hard and fast rule and we could help you negotiate alternative sentencing for more serious crimes. The options include the drug diversion program, drug court, the work-release program, electronic monitoring, and supervised probation.
Drug courts are available throughout Alabama and works to help people through their problems rather than just over-crowding prisons. Drug diversion programs are facilities which seek to provide support people deal with their drug abuse. Alabama also offers work release programs where they are allowed to leave prison during the day to work and are trusted to return after their shift is over. They may even be able to live at home during the week and only serve their prison time on the weekends. Please contact our team if you would like to learn more about how we could help you during this difficult time.