Most people believe that there is a high correlation between drug use and crime. This is extremely difficult to quantify, however, because even when drugs are involved, they are likely to be just one factor among many as to why the offender committed the crime. The United States has been involved in the “War on drugs” mainly due to this perception that drug use inevitably becomes a springboard to other crime. Therefore, we see an increasingly large prison population of non-violent drug offenders. This is why it is so important to hire an experienced criminal defense attorney if you or a loved one has been accused of a drug crime.
The most common type of drug crime is simply referred to as “drug possession,” or specifically Possession of Marijuana or Possession of a Controlled Substance. There are at least two distinct types of drug possession: (1) Actual Possession, and (2) Constructive Possession. Actual Possession means that the suspect was found to have the drug on their person. This type of possession would apply to someone who has a bag of marijuana in their pocket or in their hands when stopped by police. Constructive Possession is when the suspect doesn’t have the drugs on their person but in an area considered under that person’s control. An example of this would be when the drugs are found in the suspect’s car during a traffic stop. It is extremely important in these cases that the suspect not make any statements to the police. Additionally, the sooner a competent Alabama criminal defense attorney is involved, the more likely the outcome will be positive for the defendant.
It is surprisingly easy now to be charged and ultimately convicted of manufacturing illegal drugs. The most common situation occurs with respect to what is referred to as meth. Otherwise known as methamphetamine, this drug can be made by a process of combining some over the counter cold medicines with several other easy to obtain ingredients and “cooking” the mixture to remove the unwanted portions. The laws pertaining to this offense have been written so that a person could be very easily charged with manufacturing. All that is required is that the suspect be found in possession of a single ingredient (called a precursor) with the intent to manufacture meth. In other words, if the suspect has a single tablet of cold medicine and the officers can argue that he (or she) had the intent to manufacture meth, that person can be arrested, charged, tried, and ultimately convicted of manufacturing a controlled substance. If that suspect has a child with them, the charge can be upgraded to a Class A Felony with a minimum sentence of 10 years up to 99 years or life!
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