Drug Possession Case Is a Common Charge in Alabama
Interviewer: What are the most common types of drug cases that you’re seeing?
Brett Hollett: Possession cases.
Quantity Is a Factor in Determining a Possession Charge versus an Intent to Distribute Charge
Interviewer: What is the significance or what’s the difference between possession and intent to sell or intent to distribute?
Brett Hollett: Typically the quantity and then the activity obviously. When I say possession I mean possession of a controlled substance. It can be anything from prescription pills on up the list of controlled substances such as cocaine, heroin, and other drugs.
What Drugs Are Commonly Attributed to Drug-Related Charges?
Interviewer: What are the kinds of drugs that are being found? Let’s go down a list of what sort of drugs are you seeing these days?
The Number of Heroin-Related Arrests Is Rising in Alabama
Brett Hollett: We’re seeing an uptick in heroin use. I think that can be attributed to the fact that some of your prescription pain medication is no longer available. I’d say heroin, cocaine, prescription pain medications are most prevalent.
Interviewer: Are you seeing any methamphetamines or anything like that?
The Use of Methamphetamine, Once Popular Is Waning Due to Aggressive Campaigning
Brett Hollett: I see some cases. They are mostly regarding charges related to the sale or manufacturing of methamphetamine. We had a pretty big campaign to try to curb meth use. I think that they’ve done a good job of that. However, with the downfall of meth and the downfall of, like I said, the OxyContin prescription pills there came heroin. Now heroin’s a big problem. Maybe even a bigger problem than methamphetamine was.
Interviewer: What about crack? Are you seeing a lot of crack users? It used to be a little bit more affordable.
Brett Hollett: I do see some cases involving crack. Like you said, it does seem to be a little bit more of an affordable drug, so typically the clientele that can afford to hire a private attorney typically aren’t using crack cocaine. They’re using the more expensive powder cocaine.
Is Marijuana Now Considered a More Decriminalized Drug?
Interviewer: Is the usage of marijuana more prevalent?
A First Offense Possession Case Is a Misdemeanor Charge
Brett Hollett: It’s definitely a little bit more decriminalized than other drugs. Your first possession case of marijuana is only a misdemeanor, not a felony. All other possession cases start out as a felony offense. However, if you have subsequent convictions of possession of marijuana it can be treated as a felony. It doesn’t start out as serious I guess is what I’m saying.
Classifying Marijuana Possession as a Felony Charge Is a Difficult Issue
Interviewer: In terms of possession cases, how much marijuana must someone have in order for them to get a misdemeanor versus a felony?
Brett Hollett: It’s the personal use and that’s kind of up for debate. This is because how much marijuana can one claim is for personal use? That’s a debatable question.
Drug-Related Charges Can Affect People of All Ages and Backgrounds
Interviewer: What type of people do you encounter receiving drug charges? Is there a stereotypical kind of person, such as the hardened criminal type?
Drug Addiction Doesn’t Discriminate
Brett Hollett: No, not at all. Unfortunately we see a lot more young people. We have a lot of college age students all the way up to working professionals. Our clients really come from all walks of life. Drugs and addiction is an issue and it’s a problem a lot of people have and fight. It really doesn’t discriminate between race, gender or age.
Interviewer: Do you see professionals such as teachers or people in the medical field?
Brett Hollett: Absolutely. We do unfortunately. Addiction is a disease. A lot of these people are afflicted by an addiction and they’ll do whatever it takes to feed that addiction. It can be anybody. It can be your mom, your friend, your doctor, your dentist, anybody.
Any person can be battling an addiction problem.
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