As of January 30, 2016 of this year, if you are charged with an offense of possession of controlled substance, possession of marijuana 1st degree, or possession of marijuana 2nd degree, you will no longer face a mandatory 6-month suspension of your driver’s license. However, a judge may still suspend your license if he or she feels that it is necessary.
Prior to the change in the law, neither a judge nor a prosecutor had the authority to waive the mandatory suspension of a driver’s license for simple drug or marijuana possession. Without a required suspension period, the judge may still suspend your license but is not forced to do so. If you were arrested prior to January 30, 2016, but were not sentenced until after that date, you may still be subject to a license suspension. However, the Alabama Law Enforcement Agency must notify you of their intent to suspend your license; otherwise your driving privileges should remain active.
Additionally, certain drug offenses, such as simple possession of controlled substances, i.e. cocaine, and felony marijuana possession with a prior misdemeanor are now reclassified as Class D felonies. Class D felonies have lower minimum sentences than Class C felonies, and more commonly include sentences of probation or community corrections instead of jail, though incarceration is still possible.
If you have been charged with a simple drug offense, or if you are facing a suspension of your driver’s license, do not hesitate to contact the experienced Huntsville criminal defense attorneys at Martinson & Beason, P.C. to go over your legal options.