Cocaine, whether in the form of powder or crack rock, is illegal in Alabama. The possession, sale, and trafficking of cocaine are all outlawed with penalties varying based on the conduct of the defendant. Although the fewest penalties apply to drug possession, the cocaine related laws below are felonies with mandatory prison terms. If a defendant has prior felonies, the “three strikes,” or habitual offender, laws apply and long prison terms are possible, even just for using. Using cocaine or crack in Alabama is just not worth the risk.
The following table outlines Alabama’s main cocaine related laws.
||Alabama Code Sections:
||The possession of cocaine is illegal in Alabama. It’s a Class C felony that can be punished by 1 to 10 years in prison and not more than a $15,000 fine. If you have enough cocaine or other drug paraphernalia that it appears you are selling, the prosecutor may try to get you for a sale or trafficking charge.
||Alabama prohibits the sale, delivery, or distribution of cocaine and any other illegal drug. This is a Class B felony. The punishment depends on the amount sold or possessed to sell, who the coke would be sold to, and if the defendant has prior felony offenses.
Typically, a Class B felony is punished by 2 to 20 years in prison and up to a $30,000 fine. If a person over the age of 18 sells the cocaine to a minor under the age of 18, it’s a Class A felony. Also note, sale of cocaine is part of the trafficking law below, be sure to consult your defense counsel about which drug sale law applies to your situation.
If the defendant has prior felony convictions, he or she can be sentenced for longer periods of time under the Alabama Habitual Felony Offender Act. This law permits the felony class punishment range to be increased based on the number of prior convictions. For example, with one prior felony, the current class B crack selling felony becomes a Class A felony. If the current charge is a Class A felony, then the minimum is life imprisonment or 15-99 years.
If a defendant has two prior felonies, the sentencing range is bumped up two notices, that is from a Class C drug possession to a Class A for the same drug possession. If the current charge is a Class A, then life imprisonment of not less than 99 years (essentially life) is mandatory. With three prior felonies, even a Class C possession felony has a 15 year minimum and at most, a Class A felony can result in life imprisonment without the possibility of parole.
||In Alabama, it’s illegal to sell, manufacture, delivery, or otherwise bring into the state illegal drugs, including cocaine. Trafficking of cocaine is a Class A felony, but the punishment depends on the amount of coke sold or intended to be sold or transported. The mandatory minimum sentences are:
- For 28-500 grams the minimum is 3 years in prison and a $50,000 fine
- For 500 grams to 1 kilogram the minimum is 5 years and a $100,000 fine
- For 1-10 kilos, the minimum is 15 years and a $250,000 fine
- For over 10 kilos the penalty is life imprisonment without parole
Hefty fines can be assessed under the Alabama Drug Trafficking Enterprise Act. This code prohibits a person who manages or oversees at least five people and derives a substantial income for the drug trade to have higher mandatory minimum prison terms and fines.
For a first conviction under this, the mandatory minimum is 25 years in prison, and a fine between $50,000 and $500,000. For a second conviction, the term is life imprisonment without parole and a fine of $150,000 to $1,000,000. The sentence can’t be less than what would be meted out under the trafficking and habitual offender laws.
If you’re facing any type of drug crime charge, you should contact an experienced Alabama criminal defense attorney or your public defender as soon as possible.
Note: State laws change all the time, so be sure to verify any laws you are researching.