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Drug possession: A minor or significant offense?

In the state of Alabama, the law does not take drug crimes lightly. Even something like a simple possession charge can have negative consequences on your life if prosecuting attorneys achieve a conviction. So really, is drug possession a minor or significant offense?

A possession charge often accompanies other charges. With every charge added on, the more severe the penalties will be if convicted. What other charges are possible, and what are the consequences generally associated with a possessions charge?

Drug possession: The basics

Before getting into the fine details of a possessions charge, it is important to understand the basics. If charged with possession, it means that a law enforcement authority found you with drugs on your person, in your home, in your vehicle or in very close proximity to you. There are two types of possessions charges: simple and possession with the intent to sell -- the latter being more severe than the former.

Most common accompanying charge

There are a number of other charges that may accompany a possessions charge. However, the most common is probably a charge for the possession of drug paraphernalia. This is equipment that a person might use when using, manufacturing or packaging drugs. Examples of drug paraphernalia include:

  • Pipes
  • Bongs
  • Rolling papers
  • Syringes
  • Scales
  • Plastic bags

If authorities find you with items meant to package or manufacture drugs, you may face a possession with intent to distribute charge. If, however, police find you with a pipe or syringe and a minimal amount of a drug, the charge against you will likely be simple possession -- along with the paraphernalia charge.

Consequences: Now and later

There are several consequences generally tied to possession charges. Those that will affect your life now include:

  • Fines
  • Incarceration
  • Court-ordered rehabilitation

Of course, these can also have a significant impact on your life later as well. Incarceration, for example, can affect your ability to get a job, limiting your ability to financially provide for yourself and your family.

Yes, you can defend yourself

When facing a drug charge, fighting it may seem impossible, as even a relatively minor offense can have significant consequences. The truth is, yes, fighting drug possession charges can prove to be a difficult task. This does not mean there is no hope. With variousĀ defense strategies available to you, you can choose a legal route that will best benefit your situation.

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