What are the penalties for possession of marijuana?

Possession of marijuana can be treated as either a Class A misdemeanor or as a Class C felony, depending on the person's prior criminal history and whether or not the marijuana appears to be for other than personal use. If a person already has a conviction for Marijuana, Second Degree (misdemeanor offense), then any further arrests for marijuana will be charged as Marijuana First Degree, a felony.

Penalties for Misdemeanor Possession of Marijuana

  • Maximum of one year in jail
  • $2,000 fine
  • Suspended driver's license of persons convicted of this offense for up to 90 days

Penalties for Felony Possession of Marijuana

  • Prison sentence of one year and a day to ten years
  • Maximum fine of up to $5,000

Sentences including formal probation may also be used in misdemeanor marijuana cases. This can have important implications for a student who is looking for summer or permanent employment outside the Mobile area. Regular reporting to a probation officer and random drug screening, along with fees and costs, can make finding keeping a job difficult. Many job applications require applicants to report any arrests on their record; failure to disclose this information on an application can lead to further legal problems between the student and an employer. Additional reading on the consequences of marijuana possession, describes how a criminal conviction can affect your child's life in many ways.

Possession of a controlled substance may become a trafficking charge if the drugs weigh enough. Read more about the legal consequences of marijuana trafficking.

This overview was designed to give students a realistic picture of the impact that drugs can have on their lives. No scare tactics were used; all of the information comes directly from the Alabama Code, case law, and courtroom experience. It is hoped that all USA students will have an enjoyable and rewarding college career that does not include illegal drugs.


This information was provided by the Mobile County [AL] District Attorney's Office and is intended to give USA students a legal perspective on what being involved with illegal drugs can mean for their futures. Students are encouraged to be aware of this information when they make decisions about who to hang out with, where to go, and what to do. It should be noted that the legal information provided only encompasses the law of the State of Alabama.

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