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The difference between misdemeanor and felony cannabis possession

On Behalf of | Jun 13, 2022 | Drug Crimes |

Cannabis or marijuana is now legal for recreational and medical use in a large number of states. However, in Alabama, only CBD is currently lawful to possess and utilize. Although there is a medical marijuana program in the works, it will be many months, if not several years, before people can easily and safely participate in this program.

If you get caught with marijuana flowers or with any kind of extract that includes THC, you could find yourself facing criminal prosecution. Many marijuana possession offenses are Class A misdemeanors that can carry up to a year in jail and fine them as much as $6,000. However, some people find themselves facing felony possession charges. When does marijuana possession in Alabama become a felony offense instead of a misdemeanor?

With a prior record or the intent to distribute

Alabama imposes enhanced charges and penalties in cases where people have prior marijuana offenses on their record or the state has reason to suspect the marijuana was not for their personal use. The possible penalties include up to 10 years in prison and possibly $15,000 in fines.

You can face a Class D felony charge for a second or subsequent marijuana possession offense even if the marijuana was only for your personal use. You might face a Class C felony offense if the state operates under the assumption that the marijuana was not for your personal use, meaning that you intended to distribute it or possibly use it to manufacture marijuana products for distribution.

Understanding the fine line between felony and misdemeanor marijuana drug charges in Alabama can help you protect your freedom and make better choices after your arrest.